Special Olympics draws Martindale to China

Dr. Maura Martindale screens an athlete's hearing at Special Olympics in Shanghai.

Maura Martindale, Ed.D., Director of the Master’s in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education program, participated as a volunteer at the International Special Olympics in Shanghai this past fall.

As part of the Healthy Athletes Program, she joined an international team of more than 25 audiologists; ear, nose and throat specialists; and other professionals screening the athletes’ hearing. Volunteers from other medical and education disciplines provided free dental, vision, physical and health screenings in a special venue set aside for this purpose.

The Healthy Hearing team was joined by dozens of Chinese professionals and students who worked together with the athletes’ coaches and parents for a comprehensive evaluation. Free hearing aids were available to athletes who needed them.

More than 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 160 countries came together to compete in events that parallel the summer games. Team USA and Team China had the largest representation with nearly 500 and more than 1,000, respectively.

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