Starkey Partners with Special Olympics International to Bring Hearing Health Services to Athletes in Puerto Rico

Eden Prairie, Minn – Starkey Cares had the privilege of visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico last weekend to fit Special Olympics athletes with new Starkey hearing aids. Starkey’s participation is a continuation of the global partnership made with Special Olympics International earlier this year, which pledged to increase access to hearing health services worldwide for individuals with intellectual disabilities. 

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Starkey Cares team members fit an athlete with a hearing aid.

The event, organized by Special Olympics Puerto Rico’s Healthy Communities program, brought health professionals from Special Olympics, Starkey Cares, and The University of Puerto Rico together, in addition to volunteers and medical students, to conduct free optometry, audiology, and psychological evaluations for athletes and people with disabilities. 

“Working with Starkey Cares partners around the globe to lift up these amazing athletes has been an incredible opportunity for Starkey and our customers to give back,” said Jake Spano, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Starkey. “The San Juan event was a great way to build on our partnership and create momentum for the Special Olympics World Games in Berlin next year.” 

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The Starkey Cares team assisted members of Special Olympics International in Puerto Rico who host over 630 registered athletes and 40 coaches and has hosted over 20 competitions to date.

In partnership with Special Olympics International, Starkey Cares is proud to provide life-changing health services and hearing instruments to Special Olympics athletes around the world, while helping make healthy hearing more inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities. Since launching the partnership, Starkey has fit over 100 Special Olympics athletes with free hearing aids at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, Fla, and the 2022 Special Olympics Unified Cup in Detroit, Mich.  

On Starkey’s Sound Bites podcast earlier this year, Dr. Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics Chairman, shared why it was a natural fit for StarkeyCares and Special Olympics to partner: “We came together because we said, ‘let’s build on the spirit of inclusion to change something specific. Let’s make it possible for people with intellectual disabilities to hear.’”  

About Starkey   

Starkey is a privately held, global hearing technology company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Owned by Bill Austin since 1967, Starkey is known for its innovative design, development, and distribution of comprehensive digital hearing systems. Led today by President and CEO Brandon Sawalich, Starkey has more than 5,000 employees, operates 29 facilities and does business in more than 100 markets worldwide. Learn more at   

About Special Olympics International  

Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Special Olympics Unified Sports® partners in over 190 countries and territories and more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 Games and competitions every year.   

In Puerto Rico, Special Olympics hosts over 630 registered athletes and 40 coaches and has hosted over 20 competitions to date.