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Voting Is Open for 2021 Oticon Focus on People Awards


National Awards Program Celebrates 23 Years of Changing Attitudes, Opening Doors for People with Hearing Loss

SOMERSET, NJ  November 15 – Voting is now open for 2021 Oticon Focus on People Awards at People are invited to cast their votes for the 12 finalists who represent the "best of the best" from this year's nominations in each of four categories – Student, Adult, Advocacy and Practitioner. The total number of votes received by each finalist will help to determine who will be the first, second and third place winners in
each category. 

Created in 1997, the Oticon Focus on People Awards program was the first national awards program to recognize everyday people, who also happened to have hearing loss, doing amazing things. More than 23 years later, the program continues to create awareness that changes attitudes and opens doors of opportunity for all people with hearing loss.

Through the voting process, Oticon aims to reach as many people as possible with the inspiring stories of the program’s finalists and by doing so, to help change outdated stereotypes that discourage people from seeking professional help for their hearing loss.

“Life-changing technology and the support of dedicated hearing care professionals have opened a world of possibilities for people with hearing loss,” says Nancy Palmere, Director of Consumer Marketing and Public Relations, who heads the national program.  “The Oticon Focus on People Awards honor the courageous individuals who through their achievements and contributions serve as role models not only for people with hearing loss, but for all of us!”

The 2021 Oticon Focus on  People Awards finalists, like the more than 300 finalists before them, range from students who have accomplished much in a very few years to adults who use their unique talents to open worlds of possibilities for others with hearing loss. They include passionate advocates who have logged thousands of hours on behalf of hearing causes and dedicated practitioners whose caring and commitment consistently go above and beyond.

To vote and to learn more about the Oticon Focus on People Awards, visit Voting is open through December 17, 2021. Winners will be announced in February. 

Hailing from coast to coast, this year’s finalists consist of inspiring students, accomplished adults and innovative practitioners that are making a positive impact in their communities. The 2021 Oticon Focus on People Awards finalists include:

  • Student – Lauren King of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Hunter Martin of Illiopolis, Illinois; Demii Wright of Madison, Wisconsin
  • Adult – Destiny Lopez of Waterbury, Connecticut; Trip Neil of Dallas, Texas; Thomas Withrow of Austin, Texas
  • Advocacy – Meryl Evans of Plano, Texas; Sarah Klegman of Sherman Oaks, California; Paul Wichansky, Ph.D. of Freehold, New Jersey
  • Practitioner – Phallon Doss, Au.D. of Shertz, Texas; Kamal Elliot, Au.D. of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Ricardo Gauthier, Au.D. of Punta Gorda, Florida
Guidelines for Determining CI Candidacy presented in partnership with the ACIA

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