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December 06, 2012 | SOI General: Headquarters

Phonak and Special Olympics Join Forces to Treat Hearing Loss

By Karl Hejlik

From Dec. 7-9, 1,100 athletes at the Southern California Special Olympics Games in Irvine and Fountain Valley received a very special holiday gift...hearing. Nearly 30 percent of Special Olympics athletes have hearing loss, but many have not had viable access to hearing healthcare until now. This is why Phonak, the global leader in hearing instruments, has partnered with Special Olympics to raise awareness about hearing health among athletes and the greater community to improve everyone's quality of life. Julie Ball, M.A., F-AAA, CCC-A, an audiologist with Anaheim Hearing Center in California, is very passionate about her involvement. "In working with the Healthy Hearing program over the past two years, my desire has been the same for these athletes as for all people -- to make sure they receive the hearing healthcare they need," said Ball. "The Healthy Hearing program gives Special Olympics athletes access to the hearing screenings they desperately need. I've had the privilege of fitting an athlete with her first hearing aid. It was a blessing to share in her joy as she was hearing the world in a new way."

About Karl Hejlik: Karl is the Senior Manager for Health and Research Communications at Special Olympics Intl in Washington DC.

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