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Phonak and Special Olympics join forces with US Olympian, former Congressman Jim Ryun
Date:6/7/2012

WARRENVILLE, Ill., June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Former US Olympian Jim Ryun set the record for the mile as a high school junior, competed in three US Olympics and held a seat in Congress from 1996-2007. Now he's partnered with Phonak and Special Olympics to set another record:  the overall number of people in the US who take care of their hearing health.

About Healthy Athletes, Healthy Hearing

Healthcare outcomes data show that people with intellectual disabilities are historically underserved when it comes to accessing certain basic healthcare needs. Nearly one in three Special Olympics athletes in the United States fail hearing screenings, making them candidates for further evaluation and in many cases, treatment through hearing aids. Unfortunately, many have never had their hearing tested or have been unable to afford hearing aids due to a lack of health insurance or access to care in general.

That's why Ryun (who suffers from hearing loss), Special Olympics and Phonak have joined forces as part of the Healthy Hearing program.

During key local Special Olympic Games, athletes will undergo an onsite hearing screening as part of the Healthy Hearing program. Those who are identified with potential hearing loss will be directed to an audiologist in their local market who will provide further evaluation and treatment. For those who require them, they will receive Phonak hearing instruments free of charge.

"Imagine the number of athletes not able to hear the roar of the crowd when they cross the finish line," said Ryun. "That undoubtedly has a significantly negative impact upon their competition, not to mention the impact to their ability to respond to information from coaches, trainers and judges. The safety and interpersonal relationships of these athletes can also be impeded by hearing loss, too. That's why I'm here to encourage Richmond residents to support their Special Olympics athletes as well as und
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SOURCE Phonak
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