March 13-15, 2016 • San Diego, CA


  |   -

Special Olympics Healthy Hearing: Outcomes of Referral and Follow-up in Seven Southeastern States

This project was designed to investigate outcomes of Special Olympics Healthy Hearing (SOHH) assessments in a seven state region in the southeastern U.S. SOHH was implemented in 1999 as part of the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program, designed to provide screening and referral for a variety of conditions that affect participants in Special Olympics. As described on the Special Olympics website (resources.specialolympics.org) Healthy Athletes offers health examinations in seven areas: FUNfitness (physical therapy), Health Promotion (health and well-being), MedFest (sports physical), Opening Eyes (vision) Special Smiles (dentistry) Healthy Hearing (audiology). The Healthy Hearing program, now in its 16th year, has grown into a global audiological screening, care, and referral program for Special Olympics athletes. Led by volunteer professionals, SOHH provides hearing screening and assessment procedures adapted for testing in a non-clinical environment. To date, much of the emphasis has been on screening and referral, but detection is only the initial step in this process. Studies have shown that 16-40% of Special Olympics athletes will, at some time, experience a permanent or transient hearing deficit (Braun et al., 2015). Thus, it is important not only to identify hearing loss in this population, but to provide referral and treatment. This poster will report screening and referral outcomes for seven states: North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Louisiana. We will compare and contrast the protocols used in each state and we will report findings on prevalence of hearing loss; outcomes of referral; and barriers as well as facilitators to successful outcomes.

  • Describe Special Olympics Healthy Hearing outcomes following screening and referral in seven southeastern states in 2014
  • List three barriers to successful audiologic follow-up when an athlete is referred from Special Olympics Healthy Hearing
  • List three strategies for improving successful follow-up when an athlete is referred from Special Olympics Healthy Hearing

This presentation has not yet been uploaded or the speaker has opted not to make the presentation available online.

Handout is not Available

CART transcripts are NOT YET available, but will be posted shortly after the conference


Heather Mazzola (Primary Presenter,Co-Presenter), NC-LEND student , heather_mazzola@med.unc.edu;
Heather Mazzola is a third year Audiology student at the University of North Carolina. She is a trainee on the LEND grant. She has worked with Special Olympics Healthy Hearing for many years and plans to become a clinical director for the program upon graduation. Her interests include audiology across the lifespan including those with developmental and intellectual disability.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.