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Oticon Focus on People Awards Honors Kathy Peck of San Francisco, CA

SOMERSET, NJ, March 23, 2000

Kathy Peck of San Francisco, CA has been named grand prize winner in the Advocacy Category of the 2000 Oticon Focus on People Awards. The national awards competition, sponsored by Oticon, Inc., the world's oldest manufacturer of hearing instruments, honors outstanding hearing impaired people who prove that hearing loss does not limit a person's ability to live a full, productive and even inspiring life. Ms. Peck was nominated by Helen J. Simon, Ph.D., of the Smith-Kittlewell Eye Research Institute of San Francisco. Now in its third year, the Oticon Focus on People Awards program is designed to focus attention on common misconceptions about hearing loss, correct negative stereotypes and motivate people with hearing loss to take advantage of the help that is available to them.

"Today, even with the significant advances in hearing aid technology, outdated stereotypes of what it means to have a hearing loss persist," stated Oticon Executive Vice President Peer Lauritsen. "Because of these misconceptions, 80 percent of people who would benefit from advances in hearing instruments hesitate to seek help. The reality is that, with proper hearing amplification, individuals with hearing loss can lead active, fulfilling personal and professional lives."

Lauritsen pointed out that award winners, like Ms. Peck, serve as positive role models that help people better appreciate the advances in hearing care and what these advances can mean in terms of continued productivity and enjoyment of life. Kathy Peck is the executive director and co-founder of Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R.), a San Francisco based non-profit organization that encourages people to listen to and love music safely. Kathy, who began her crusade in 1988 when she discovered her hearing loss was caused by exposure to loud music, communicates H.E.A.R.'s message through outreach programs, publicity campaigns and an award-winning website, www.hearnet.com, that receives more than 8,000 visitors a day. H.E.A.R's accomplishments over the past 12 years include the 1989 National Leadership Award from the National Council of Communicative Disorders; the creation of an extensive data base that was used for a study entitled "Occupational Hearing Loss and Tinnitus in the Music Industry; and on-going distribution of earplugs and information on hearing loss to concert audiences; and collaboration with the National Science Foundation on a textbook series entitled Medicine: Hearing.

Founded in 1904, Oticon has been a pioneer in hearing care for nearly a century. It was the first company to develop fully automatic, non-linear hearing instruments that adjust amplification to changing environments and the first to introduce fully digital hearing instruments for widespread use in 1996. The company believes that, to guarantee optimal results, advanced technology must be combined with a greater understanding of the relevant human factors. Oticon calls the approach the Human Link.

 

Contact

Maryanne Caruso
The Rowland Company
212-527-8935
mcaruso@rowland.com

 





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