Tustin Hearing Center at the Special Olympics World Games 2015

August 13, 2015    Community

Tustin Hearing Center at the Special Olympics World Games 2015

2015 has been a great year for Tustin Hearing Center, and it’s only getting better!  We are very excited to share our experience volunteering at the Special Olympics World Games, which took place July 25 through August 2 in Los Angeles.

The Games, which hosted more than 6,500 Olympians from across the globe, for the first time ever featured a special venue called Healthy Athletes – a place where participants underwent a number of health exams, including hearing examinations that was facilitated by audiologists and the Starkey Hearing Foundation.  Practice owner and Audiologist – Dr. Janell Reid, along with Dr. Linda Farrow and Dr. Sneha Hinduja were delighted and honored to be among the volunteers.

“Participating in the World Games was incredibly exciting for us,” said Dr. Janell Reid.  “One of the things that never gets old is when people hear their own voice for the first time.  It’s a very exhilarating environment.”  Language barriers along with the hearing impairments and intellectual challenges many athletes face meant communication took some creativity, Dr. Reid said.  “Between nonverbal gestures and smiling and just the willingness on both sides, we made it work,” she said.  “And they were wonderful. They were just so grateful.”

For Dr. Farrow, this wasn’t the first time that she volunteered her time with the Starkey Hearing Foundation.  In January of this year, she had the honor to join the foundation to their mission to Mexico.  “Since I had been on a mission recently, I was familiar with the process and was excited to start changing lives.  First up… THE NIGERIAN BASKETBALL TEAM!  We were told they all used sign language and each wanted to be fit with hearing aids.  There were 3 Audiologists including myself ready to take on this task.  We ended up fitting 8 of the 10 players on the team.  What a true pleasure it was to provide opportunities to these wonderful people and open a whole new set of advantages for them.  By the end of the day our team fit 43 athletes and we were able to special order devices for an athlete who was fit later that week.”  Coach Michael Ani told doctors the next day, as his team fought its way to a 32-21 victory, he was able to call out one of his player’s names for the first time and watch him respond.  To top it off, ESPN got word of this exciting time for the Nigerian basketball team and featured them in an amazing article that’s guaranteed to make you smile.

Click to read the full ESPN article.

Dr. Sneha Hinduja spent her day seeing patients, using her native Hindi to communicate with those from India and Pakistan.  She was so happy that she was able to connect with people in that way and help them using their first language.  “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to fit athletes with hearing aids at the Special Olympics.  This has been an exhilarating experience.  The smile on the face of the athletes when they are able to hear conversations clearly is a humble reminder of how my skills can make a difference in the lives of individuals with a hearing loss.  The Starkey Hearing Foundation did a fabulous job at organizing everything.”

This was truly a remarkable thing to be a part of, and we are so proud of our Audiologists!

Janell Reid of Tustin Hearing Center at the Special Olympics

Dr. Janell Reid, owner of Tustin Hearing Center, with Special Olympics athletes she fitted with free hearing aids during a clinic at USC.


Janell Reid, Audiologist

Dr. Janell Reid, owner of Tustin Hearing Center, with a Special Olympics athlete she fitted with a hearing aid during a clinic at USC.


Linda Farrow - Audiologist

Dr. Linda Farrow of Tustin Hearing Center with Benoit Agossa, 36, a Special Olympics athlete from the African country of Benin. Farrow fitted Agossa with a hearing aid during a clinic at USC.


Sneja Hinduja - Audiologist - Tustin

Dr. Sneha Hinduja seeing patients