2022 Focus on
People Awards

Advocacy category


Gregory Scott

New York, NY

Like many people with hearing loss, Greg had difficulty hearing in noisy bars and restaurants. He began to measure noise with a smartphone decibel meter and develop lists of quieter spots. Friends, those with normal hearing and those with hearing loss, would continuously ask for the lists. This inspired Greg to create the SoundPrint crowdsourcing app. Using the app’s internal decibel meter, anyone can measure and report the sound levels of their surroundings to the SoundPrint database. Today, people around the world can freely access the SoundPrint app to learn if a certain venue is quiet or loud. Beyond making conversation easier, the database is shared with venue managers, public health researchers and hearing health advocates to let them know people care about noise.


Renee Polanco Lucero, PhD

Culver City, CA

Renee, who is deafblind, is a testament to the value of empowerment and a life-long commitment to advocacy. Mainstreamed through public school, Renee graduated from Columbia University and went on to earn a PhD in Special Education. As an educator, she identified program improvements needed to better serve families and children with hearing loss. Her efforts resulted in a first-of-its-kind collaboration with the Oberkotter Foundation, Alexander Graham Bell Association and LA Unified School District to strengthen listening and spoken language services. As the Chief Academic Officer for the John Tracy Center, Renee oversees the training of teachers in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Graduate Program, continuing to advocate for excellence in education for children with hearing loss.


Shanna Groves

Olathe, KS

In Lip Reader and Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom, Shanna shares her struggles on the “roller coaster ride” of progressive hearing loss, including her initial reluctance to wear hearing aids or show them to others. Today, her popular blog,, helps to build awareness of the benefits of hearing technology and drive confidence through initiatives such as the “Show Me Your Ears” photo campaign. The recipient of numerous awards for her contributions to the deaf and hard of hearing community, Shanna serves on the Kansas Commission on Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She is a vocal advocate for accessibility and inclusion. Her mantra: “Advocate for your own accessibility and inclusion and collaborate with others to impact lasting change.”

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