Alex Mussomeli of Westport is among the outstanding individuals with hearing loss selected as a finalist in 2016 Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national competition that celebrates individuals who are helping to eliminate negative stereotypes of what it means to have a hearing loss. The soon-to-be sixth grader is one of three outstanding young people selected as a finalist in the Student category. Beginning June 20, people can cast their vote for Alex at www.oticon.com. Total number of votes will help determine whether Alex is the first, second or third place winner in the national awards competition.
This is the 18th year that the Oticon Focus on People Awards has honored hearing impaired students, adults and advocacy volunteers who have demonstrated through their accomplishments that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to make a positive difference in the world.
Alex, diagnosed with hearing loss as an infant, appreciates the advances in hearing research and technology that have made his life easier and happier. The gifted musician and artist is determined to use his talents so other children with hearing loss can experience the benefits he has enjoyed. He found his inspiration in a legally blind artist who raised $1 million for charities benefiting children through the sale of his paintings. This April, Alex held his first solo art show to benefit the non-profit Hearing Health Foundation’s Hearing Restoration Project. The young artist worked diligently for a year on the colorful acrylic paintings, prints and notecards that raised a whopping $16,000 for the Foundation.
Website visitors are encouraged to read all of the stories from this year’s 12 finalists in four categories: Student, Adult, Advocacy and Practitioner.
Voting closes on August 15. Winners will be announced in September.