Special Olympic Athletes Hearing Screenings

Contact Information

Communication Sciences and Disorders, Melissa Garber

Contact Details



The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders send students and a faculty member to the Special Olympics summer games at the University of Richmond. The students go down the day before to set up an exhibit booth: We decorate to make it very inviting and set up 3 different rooms for different types of hearing tests depending upon the needs and abilities of each athlete. We also offered custom swim molds for all of the swimmers. Upon completion, a licensed audiologist (JMU faculty member) is there to explain the results and offer recommendations. We then connect them with a provider in their area (the athletes come from all over the state). This program has identified children with hearing impairments who have not previously been identified, and connected them with hearing services and hearing aids. Other related key words: Nonprofit Agency, Children, Youth and Family, Health and Healthcare


Involves Faculty, Involves Participants External to JMU


Annually in June, since at least 2002


Recurring Event (Occurs on a regular basis but not continual)

Benefits for Faculty, Students, Community, and Institution

The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders sends approximately 12 audiology doctoral students and 25 speech language pathology graduate students and one faculty member to participate in these screenings. This year we screened almost 200 athletes! Students get clinical hours, practice in the field, and exposure to diverse populations (special needs, socioeconomic diversity). (JMU has the only audiology program in Virginia.)

Community Partner Name

Virginia Special Olympics

Areas of Engagement

Community Engagement, Engaged Learning


Program, Community Service

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