Healthy Hearing is the audiological exam designed to assess the prevalence of possible hearing loss among Special Olympics athletes. These screenings will identify athletes who need audiological evaluations to determine if a hearing loss exists and requires treatment.

Many athlete hearing problems go undetected or even untreated. Hearing loss has a profound impact on an individual’s ability to communicate which trickles into all aspects of the lives of those affected by hearing loss.


Healthy Hearing screenings indicate a large percentage of Special Olympics athletes have untreated ear and hearing conditions.

Out of SONJ athletes screened:

  • 39.1% have blocked/partially blocked ear canals
  • 31.8% have failed the PureTone Hearing Test
  • 15.1% have possible middle ear problems
  • 10.2% have permanent hearing loss

Available Screenings

Healthy Hearing screenings are offered at Summer Games. After the screening, the clinicians discuss the check up. Education is provided about ways to prevent hearing loss from noise exposure and referrals are given when appropriate.

Volunteer Opportunities

Interested in volunteering for Healthy Hearing? SONJ is looking for audiologists, speech and hearing therapists, ENT specialists, and students in this field to help athletes detect and prevent hearing loss.

Criteria for Clinical Director

Please view the below document if you are interested in becoming a Healthy Hearing Clinical Director.

Healthy Hearing Clinical Director Fact Sheet

Current Clinical Directors: Joan Besing, Janet Koehnke, PhD, CCC-A; Tara LaScola, AuD; Karen McQuaide, AuD; Faith Mogilia, AuD


If you are interested in becoming involved in our Healthy Hearing screening events, please contact our Health Programs Director, Amelia Hamilton,