Doug Wesson enjoys his work.
As a certified audioprosthologist – a specialist of fitting a hearing aid or audio prosthesis – he’s proud to make a difference in the lives of people.
“That’s what keeps me in the business,” he said Friday at his Wesson Hearing Aid Center in Manteca.
In particular, Wesson is thrilled when he’s able to help a person hear clearly for the first time in a long time – or the first time ever, for that matter – whether it’s home or abroad.
“A light comes on – they’re finally able to connect with family (by hearing),” he said.
Wesson was among three recipients for the 2017 Oticon Focus on People Awards in the Practitioner Category on Nov. 10. This national competition, now in its 19th year, celebrates hearing-impaired students, adults, and advocacy volunteers along with dedicated hearing care practitioners who have helped to demonstrate through their accomplishments and contributions that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to make a positive difference in the world.
Wesson, who uses a hearing aid – he was exposed to a virus more than 20 years ago, resulting in severely impaired hearing – has been in private practice for the past 38 years. He has offices in Ripon, Oakdale, Tracy and Manteca.
He’s notable for his humanitarian efforts. Wesson has traveled to Argentina, Belize, Romania, Uganda and Fiji, to name a few, for various reasons, including improving those with hearing loss in impoverished communities, helping build homes and orphanages.
He found folks in those area to be extremely grateful, offering anything from livestock or other tokens of appreciation as payment. “Just for them to hear their kids for the first time is dramatic,” Wesson said.
Hearing aids are made possible by the Oticon Hearing Foundation, an organization that provides the gift of hearing to those who couldn’t otherwise afford it.
For his part, Wesson will be adding to his award by donating to the Oticon Hearing Foundation, Assist International in Ripon (sponsors of orphan homes in Romania and Uganda), the Modesto Pregnancy Center, and Convoy of Hope in Springfield, MO (first responder in national disaster relief).
He added that hearing aids are no longer just for old people.
“That’s one of the misconceptions,” Wesson said.
He noted that people in U.S., for the most part, avoid being tested for hearing aid for various reasons, from denial, cost or even cosmetic reasons.
The Oticon Focus on People Award was created in 1997 by Oticon, Inc., one of the oldest and most respected hearing instrument manufacturers in the world.
It’s through these competition that Oticon, Inc. aims to call attention to the common misconceptions about hearing loss while motivating people with hearing loss to take advantage of the available resources.
The company’s goal is to reach out to the 80 percent of an estimated 48 million Americans who could benefit from hearing solutions but fail to seek professional help, according to Oticon, Inc.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail email@example.com.