Lt. Cmdr. Michael McManus, of Irondequoit, is among 12 nominees honored by Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national competition that recognizes individuals helping to change perceptions of what it means to live with hearing loss.
McManus is one of three finalists in the adult category. The public can cast votes for him and the other finalists in student, adult, advocacy and practitioner categories through Aug. 31.
The total number of votes received by each finalist will determine who places first, second or third.
McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Gulf War, and voluntarily deployed multiple times with the U.S. Navy Seabees during the Iraq War.
He said he hesitated to wear hearing aids after being diagnosed with mid-to-moderate hearing loss, because he was concerned how it might affect his position and career in the military. He then recognized his openness and willingness to learn and experience new technologies benefits his professional and personal life, and he now wears hearing aids both on and and off duty.
McManus said the ability to hear information crucial to the success of his missions is more important than the perception of “perfect” hearing. He actively pursues a personal campaign to reduce the stigma of hearing loss in the military.
McManus grew up in Irondequoit, and lived in Penfield while serving in the Reserves. He is currently based in Honolulu. If he wins the competition, he will receive $1,000 to donate to a charity of his choice, Wounded Warriors.
For information, visit bit.ly/2vkGVgZ.