Special Olympics athletes with hearing impairments will finally be able to enjoy the roars of the cheering crowds as they compete, thanks to a three-year agreement between Phonak US and the Special Olympics Healthy Hearing program. As part of the national partnership, Phonak US will donate hearing aids to be distributed during free hearing screenings provided at Special Olympics events across the United States, as well as the ability for athletes to visit local hearing centers for fittings and calibrations of the devices. An official signing event is being held Friday, April 8, as part of the American Academy of Audiology conference in Chicago.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with an organization that exemplifies such aspiration and inspiration. It’s our long-term objective to effectively communicate a positive “no barriers” message as we strive to provide these deserving people the chance for more independence and a heightened quality of life through better hearing,” said Cathy Jones, Executive Director, US Hear the World Foundation.
Nearly one in three Special Olympics athletes in the United States fail basic hearing tests of the too few that are even tested. Many of those that do have their hearing tested are candidates for hearing aids yet do not have access to care.
“We are extremely proud and honored to work with such a well known and highly regarded organization,” said Dr. Timothy Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics. “Our Movement’s athletes represent the most medically underserved population in the world. With Phonak’s help, we can offer them the health care intervention that they so badly need and deserve.”
The agreement will also allow Special Olympics and Phonak’s U.S. Hear the World Foundation to collaborate around joint fundraising and marketing initiatives to benefit the Healthy Hearing program across the United States.