Deaf HearingExchange Founder Honored With Oticon Focus on People Award for Advocacy

Paula Rosenthal, J.D., publisher of HearingExchange.com, a community website for people with hearing loss, their families and professionals who serve them, is a recipient of a 2007 Oticon Focus on People Award. Ms. Rosenthal was recognized for her advocacy on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing adults and children. She is a bilateral cochlear implant user as is her daughter and speaks and writes about issues related to deafness including cochlear implants and parenting children with hearing loss.

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Paula Rosenthal file photo

Given that hearing loss is the number-one disability in America, these findings are significant

Jericho, NY (PRWEB) September 18, 2007

Paula Rosenthal, J.D., publisher of HearingExchange.com is among nine outstanding individuals with hearing loss honored by the 2007 Oticon Focus on People Awards. Oticon Focus on People Award is a national competition that recognizes individuals who are helping to eliminate negative stereotypes of what it means to have a hearing loss. Ms. Rosenthal's selection as a winner in the Advocacy Category was announced in September at the tenth annual Oticon Focus on People Awards Ceremony in Boston. The Awards ceremony was attended by over 200 leading hearing care professionals from across the country.

Diagnosed with a progressive hearing loss in early childhood, Ms. Rosenthal has never allowed her hearing loss to interfere with her ability to succeed and to serve as an advocate for deaf people. In 2000, she founded HearingExchange.com as a virtual community for people with all kinds of hearing loss, their family and professionals who work with them. She and her daughter both hear using bilateral cochlear implants after many years wearing hearing aids.

HearingExchange offers forums, chats and a wealth of resources, articles, and Ms. Rosenthal's own personal experiences as a deaf woman and as the mother of a child with hearing loss. An experienced inspirational speaker, she has spoken at conferences, workshops and chapter meetings for such groups as the Hearing Loss Association of America, the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, The Moog Center for Deaf Education, Clarke School for the Deaf and a variety of cochlear implant support groups around the country.

The Oticon Focus on People Awards were created in 1997 by Oticon, Inc., one of the world's oldest and most respected hearing instrument manufacturers. By celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of individuals with hearing loss, Oticon, Inc., hopes to call attention to common misconceptions about hearing loss and motivate people with hearing loss to take advantage of the help that is available to them. The company's goal is to reach out to the 80 percent of an estimated 28 million Americans who could benefit from hearing instruments, but who fail to seek professional help.

"Given that hearing loss is the number-one disability in America, these findings are significant," says Peer Lauritsen, president of Oticon, Inc. "It's interesting to note that Americans now openly discuss and seek help for once 'unmentionable' diseases and disabilities, but not hearing loss. The challenge continues to be changing outdated and hurtful misconceptions of what it means to have a hearing loss."

Experts say that the stigma associated with hearing loss may explain why most hearing impaired people wait an average of 10 years before obtaining a hearing aid despite the incredible advances of recent years, including the introduction of digital hearing instruments.

For more information about the Oticon Focus on People Award and hearing health, log on to Oticon's website here.

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