Starkey announced that it will serve as the exclusive global supplier of hearing instruments for the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Healthy Hearing program at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. The games, which began June 5 and run through June 12, are being held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, and unite more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean. Starkey’s participation is a continuation of the global partnership made with Special Olympics International earlier this year, which pledged to increase access to hearing health services worldwide for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
“Starkey was founded on the principle of helping others,” said Starkey Owner and Chairman, Bill Austin. “Through our Starkey Cares program, we’re proud to be a part of the Inclusion Revolution and support Special Olympics athletes with the hearing health resources they need to connect to their world. Alone we can’t do much. Together, we can change the world!”
In partnership with Special Olympics International, Starkey Cares is providing “life-changing health services and hearing instruments to Special Olympics athletes around the world and helping train healthcare professionals to make healthy hearing more inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities.” At the 2022 USA Games, Starkey is providing comprehensive hearing screenings, follow-up recommendations, and education on the importance of regular hearing screenings for athletes participating in the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Healthy Hearing program.
Special Olympics Healthy Hearing is one of eight disciplines within the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program, which provides health services and information to millions of people in need in more than 130 countries. Through both the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles (USA) and the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Starkey and Special Olympics have delivered over 2,700 hearing screenings to athletes and nearly 500 personally fitted hearing instruments to date.
“Around the world, too many children and adults with intellectual disabilities aren’t able to get hearing testing or other routine screenings,” said Dr Alicia Bazzano, Chief of Health, Special Olympics International. “In fact, during our testing, nearly a quarter of our athletes fail their hearing test, which indicates possible hearing loss. Moreover, many of our athletes who are screened have problems getting the follow-up care they so urgently need. Starkey Cares will help us level the playing field for people with intellectual disabilities to improve their hearing health, get them the hearing aids and care they need, and give our athletes more opportunities to be included and contribute to their communities.”
About Special Olympics International
Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Special Olympics Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries and territories and more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 Games and competitions every year.