Hope College social psychologist David Myers, PhD is among the outstanding individuals with hearing loss honored by the 2013 Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national competition that recognizes individuals who are helping to eliminate negative stereotypes of what it means to have a hearing loss.
As the first place winner in the Advocacy Category, Dr. Myers will be honored in May at a special awards ceremony at Oticon, Inc.’s US headquarters that will be attended by hearing care professionals from across the US. As part of his award, Dr. Myers has designated the Hearing Loss Association of America as his choice for a $1,000 donation from Oticon, Inc. The donation is designated for Grants for Hearing Loop Advocates.
This is the second year that Oticon, Inc., sponsor of the national awards program, has invited the public to cast their votes to help determine who among the 12 finalists would be first, second and third place winners in the Adult, Student, Practitioner and Advocacy categories. More than 10,000 votes were cast by people from across the country and around the world.
A social psychologist and author of A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss, Dr. Myer is the creator of www.hearingloop.org, an invaluable resource on induction-loop systems that broadcast sound directly to hearing aids and cochlear implants. He sees looping systems as a way to make a wide range of public venues optimally accessible to people with hearing loss. His advocacy and public education efforts have occurred through his three dozen hearing loop articles, his thousands of e-mails, and coverage in national media.
The movement to make assistive listening directly hearing aid compatible is now rapidly accelerating. Dr. Myers is quick to share the credit for this national hearing loop movement with the whole community of hearing advocates. The Secretary of Health & Human Services has recently invited him to serve on the National Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Advisory Council.
“Individuals like Dr. Myers are inspiring role models for people living with hearing loss,” states Oticon President Peer Lauritsen. “The remarkable people who are honored in this year’s Oticon Focus on People Awards program have taken their unique circumstances and transformed their lives with a positive outlook that has enabled them to overcome challenges and accomplish goals well beyond what many thought possible.”