Victoria Lessing became Deaf when she was two years old.
But far from seeing it as a disadvantage, Victoria believes Deaf culture and New Zealand Sign Language has enriched her life.
It is part of the reason she started Merge.
Still in its infancy but with some lofty goals, Merge offers tutorials in NZSL and Deaf culture as well as consultancy services to help businesses and other organisations to become more inclusive.
Now the Auckland mum, university student and business owner has been selected as one of three finalists for the Entrepreneur Award, which Westpac is proud to sponsor, at the 2017 Attitude Awards on November 9.
The inspirational Attitude Awards ceremony includes seven different categories showcasing and celebrating artists, sportsmen and women, people with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and mental health issues - young and old.
Now in its 10th year, the aim of the Awards is to shine a spotlight on the disability sector, and draw attention to the one in four New Zealanders who live with disability.
The Attitude Entrepreneur Award specifically celebrates a person with a disability who has developed his or her own business or social enterprise.
This may be a cottage industry or a larger company.
The Awards also pay tribute to the employers who work alongside people with disabilities to ensure they are able to contribute their skills to society and live full and satisfying lives.
The other two finalists in the Entrepreneur Award category this year are Robbie Francis and Pic Picot.
The winners will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner at the Auckland ANZ Viaduct Events Centre on November 9th in front of over 600 guests, including celebrities and dignitaries.
Go to 2017 Attitude Awards to buy tickets and find out more information.