Oticon focus on people awards

2019 Focus on People Awards finalists

Advocacy category

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Max Stanley Chartrand, PhD, CSP (Behavioral Medicine)

Casa Grande, AZ

Dr. Chartrand’s profound hearing loss doesn't prevent him from leading a profoundly inspiring life. His mission: to provide hope and encouragement for people with hearing loss and other challenges to find their way and arrive with flying colors. He is his own best example.

Severely hearing impaired before age 3, he earned 6 advanced university degrees – without the ability to hear the lectures – graduating at or near the top of his class. A renowned researcher, professor, author and award-winning keynote speaker, Dr. Chartrand is also an accomplished musician who thrills his audiences with a concert at many of his speaking engagements — while advocating the power of the human spirit to overcome any physical or cognitive barrier to make the world a better place for all.

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Emma Faye Rudkin

Boerne, TX

Emma Faye Rudkin has dedicated her life to helping people with hearing loss through the non-profit Aid the Silent, a program she founded in her teenage years. Today, the program helps economically disadvantaged deaf and hard-of-hearing children and teens reach their full potential and live more richly through funding for needed hearing aids and resources. Emma Faye also created global impact with a self-affirming campaign – #ShowYourAids – that went viral with tens of thousands of people posting their hearing aids and implants.

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Kerry Cerra

Coral Springs, FL

An award-winning author and co-founder of the book-initiative Middle Grade Gets Real, Kerry Cerra writes novels that help middle-grade students tackle tough topics. From addressing hatred and intolerance in Just a Drop of Water to addressing the trials and tribulations faced by a teen with hearing loss in Hear Me, she is passionate about helping students find books in which they can see themselves. Kerry also inspires high school and college students through humanitarian service trips ranging from Habitat for Humanity construction and demolition projects to recovery efforts for hurricane victims. Kerry says, "The best part is not only helping others, but watching students help others."

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