Releases | Industry | 2012 Oticon Focus on People Awards: Call for Nominations of Outstanding Individuals with Hearing Loss 2012 Oticon Focus on People Awards: Call for Nominations of Outstanding Individuals with Hearing Loss September 20, 2012 Print National Awards Program Empowers Public to Vote Online for Top Finalists. Somerset, NJ, September 17 - Oticon, Inc. today announced the call for nominations for the 2012 Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national awards program that honors hearing impaired students, adults and advocacy volunteers who have demonstrated through their accomplishments that hearing loss does not limit a person's ability to make a difference in their families, communities and the world. By spotlighting people with hearing loss and their contributions, Oticon aims to change outdated stereotypes that discourage people from seeking professional help for their hearing loss. Oticon will expand the reach of the program again this year with an online voting component designed to empower people across the US to help select top winners in four categories."Since 1997, the Focus on People Awards has recognized over 200 extraordinary people with hearing loss and awarded over $200,000 in prizes," says Oticon President Peer Lauritsen. "In 2011, we significantly expanded awareness of the program and its mission by adding an online voting component to enable people across the US to add their voices to the selection of the winning finalists. In a world that is always looking for the next 'top' entertainer, model or chef, we believe that our online voting adds an excitement and engagement that is unprecedented in programs that honor the achievements of people with hearing loss."While anyone may nominate an individual for the awards program, Lauritsen notes that the vast majority of nominees are identified by hearing care professionals who are on the frontlines of patient care and interaction. Oticon Focus on People Awards are offered in four categories:Student, for young people with hearing loss, ages 6 - 21, who are full-time studentsAdults, for people with hearing loss, ages 21 and above Advocacy, for adults with hearing loss, ages 21 and above who actively volunteer their time in advocacy or support efforts for the hearing impaired and deaf community (full-time students in advocacy should apply for the Student category)Practitioner recognizes hearing care professionals in general practice and pediatric practitioners in school or clinical settings who go "above and beyond." Nominees in the professional category are not required to have a hearing loss to qualify.Top winners in all categories will receive a $1,000 award and a $1,000 award to the non-profit group of their choice. First place winners in the Student, Adult and Advocacy categories will also receive a set of advanced technology Oticon hearing solutions. Second place winners in each category will receive a $500 award and third-place winners will receive $250. All nominees, whether or not they are selected as a top winner, will receive a Certificate of Recognition.Nomination/Judging ProcessPeople may nominate themselves or other individuals for the Oticon Focus on People Awards. Nominators complete a simple form that asks for a brief description of the nominee's accomplishments and contributions. Three finalists will be selected in each category for the online voting - all finalists will be prize winners. Online votes will help to determine which of the three finalists receives the first, second or third place awards in their categories. To submit a nomination, please visit www.oticonusa.com, under the Professional or Consumer sections and click on the Oticon Focus on People Awards link. The deadline for award nominations is November 12, 2012.For more information about Oticon, you may also visit the Oticon web channel on AudiologyOnline.