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Phonak, Hear the World Foundation and Special Olympics New York Join Forces to Help Athletes with Hearing Loss

Provides Free Hearing Aids to Support Healthy Hearing Program

WARRENVILLE, Ill., Feb. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The roar of the crowd is a powerful motivator that pushes athletes to give it their all. But for nearly 30 percent of Special Olympics athletes, this part of competitive excitement is lost on them due to undetected hearing loss.  On February 21-23, athletes participating in the New York State Special Olympics Games will have the opportunity to undergo a hearing screening, so that they have the chance to be inspired by their fans.  

Special Olympics developed the Healthy Hearing Program – part of its broader Healthy Athletes initiative – to help provide needed hearing healthcare to this medically underserved population.

Phonak, the global leader in hearing instruments, and the Hear the World Foundation have partnered with Special Olympics to help support the screening efforts, and for those athletes who need them, provide hearing aids free of charge.

About the Healthy Hearing Program
Research sponsored by Special Olympics shows that nearly one-third of Special Olympics athletes are found to have hearing loss, and many of them have not had access to hearing healthcare.  As part of its mission, Special Olympics offers athletes the opportunity to undergo an onsite hearing screening at key Games around the world.  For those athletes that require further testing, Special Olympics works with hearing healthcare professionals to provide testing services.  For those that need hearing solutions, Phonak and the Hear the World Foundation provide hearing aids free of charge. As a result of its Healthy Athlete initiative, Special Olympics has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities.

About the Hear the World Foundation
By supporting the charitable Hear the World Foundation, Sonova is campaigning for equal opportunities and a better quality of life for people with hearing loss. As a leading manufacturer of hearing systems, the company feels socially responsible for contributing towards a world where everyone has the chance to enjoy good hearing. For instance, the Hear the World Foundation supports disadvantaged people with hearing loss around the world and gets involved in prevention and providing information. It focuses particularly on projects for children with hearing loss, to enable them to develop at the appropriate rate for their age. More than 70 famous ambassadors, including celebrities such as Placido Domingo, Annie Lennox, Sting and Joss Stone, champion the Hear the World Foundation.

For further information, go to www.hear-the-world.com.

Connect with us at http://www.facebook.com/CanYouHearTheWorld

About Phonak
Headquartered near Zurich, Switzerland, Phonak, a member of Sonova Group, has developed, produced and globally distributed state-of-the-art hearing systems and wireless devices for more than 60 years. The combination of expertise in hearing technology, mastery in acoustics and strong cooperation with hearing care professionals allows Phonak to significantly improve people's hearing ability and speech understanding and therefore their quality of life.

Phonak offers a complete range of digital hearing instruments, along with complementary wireless communication systems. With a worldwide presence, Phonak drives innovation and sets new industry benchmarks regarding miniaturization and performance.

About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to nearly 4 million athletes in over 170 countries in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs. Special Olympics now takes place every day, changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities all over the world, from community playgrounds and ball fields in every small neighborhood's backyard to World Games. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy and friendship. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com


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