May, 2012. Special Olympics and the Hear the World Foundation recently formed a global partnership to increase access to health care and hearing services for people with intellectual disabilities. This partnership, launched at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games Athens, introduced a new Remote Access Model (RAM), connecting athletes in need with a hearing aid distributor in their home country for follow-up care.
The partnership is focused on providing Special Olympics athletes in need with free, high quality hearing instruments that will provide a life changing health intervention, as well as a ‘hearing home’ for follow up services. This partnership has helped transform the way in which Healthy Hearing implements global programming, and has also helped demonstrate the global corporate social responsibility that Phonak, through the Hear the World Foundation, represents to those most in need.
<img align = right src='/management/uploads/news/061112_phonak_htw_logo_b.jpg'>According to Dr. Ali Alshawahin, National Director of Special Olympics Jordan, this partnership is crucial in providing athletes in Jordan and throughout the MENA region with a means of communication with others in their daily lives. "The partnership between Special Olympics and the Hear the World Foundation will surely support Special Olympics athletes to a great deal, for most intellectually disabled people are poor and many countries cannot afford providing devices and hearing aids for them. Special Olympics Jordan’s athletes who benefit from this initiative gratefully thank the institute that provides them with these which they would not have been able to afford."
An athlete from Jordan is fitted with a free hearing aid, thanks to Healthy Hearing and Hear the World.
Though conditions vary for people with intellectual disabilities worldwide, many have little or no access to health care that could drastically improve or even save their lives. Since 1997, Special Olympics has been reaching out to this neglected population through its Healthy Athletes program, offering health screenings in seven medical disciplines. In addition to Healthy Hearing (audiology), these disciplines include: Fit Feet (podiatry), FUNfitness (physical therapy), Health Promotion (better health and well-being), MedFest (sports physical exam), Opening Eyes (vision) and Special Smiles (dentistry). In the process, Special Olympics has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities. At more than 700,000 screenings in 92 countries, volunteer health professionals have brought free preventative medicine and care to athletes in dire need.
Read the full interview with Dr. Alshawahin here. For more information on Healthy Athletes, contact Karl Hejlik, Senior Manager, Health and Research Communciations, at +1 (202) 824-0308 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Healthy Athletes on Facebook and on Twitter.
More information about Hear the World Foundation can be found at www.hear-the-world.com/foundation.