Special Olympics partners with ‘Starkey Cares’ to give athletes free hearing tests

More than 2,700 hearing screenings offered

Starkey Hearing Technologies, a hearing-aid manufacturer, will be providing free hearing tests and aids to athletes.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games hosted at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosted 5,500 athletes from all 50 states.

That included Arkansas softball player Tevin Walker who took part in a hearing test for athletes participating in the games.

“Yeah, I’m listening to coach,” Walker said.

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William Austin, founder, and CEO of Starkey Hearing Technologies offered the program known as Starkey Cares. More than 2,700 hearing screenings and nearly 500 personally fitted hearing instruments were given to participants at the health athletes’ village.

“When they can hear, they really come up on their game,” Austin said.

Austin said hearing loss can significantly impact an athlete’s performance and the partnership with Special Olympics is a way to help athletes enjoy their moment in the spotlight.

“This young man’s mother on the phone was just crying because he could hear, you see that and certainly those feelings are reflected to you,” Austin said.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.