More than 360 million people, 32 million children, worldwide have hearing loss. With barriers to communication and connection with the world, many people with hearing loss struggle with language development and lag behind in education and economic opportunities. If communication barriers are removed, children and adults with hearing loss perform just as well as their peers. However, the challenge, particularly in developing nations, is finding the resources and creating the infrastructure necessary to unlock this potential.

A priceless transformation

“Hearing is a powerful gift that brings people together, opens doors and empowers individuals to reach their full potential in life."

Starkey Hearing Foundation is dedicated to overcoming these challenges by using hearing as a vehicle to reflect caring and improve the lives of people in need around the world. This organization develops systems of hearing care in the United States and around the globe in an effort to bring the gift of hearing to people in need. It fits more than 100,000 hearing aids annually through global hearing missions and the daily efforts of its domestic, application-based 'Hear Now' program—committed to fit more than one million hearing aids this decade.

“Hearing is a powerful gift that brings people together, opens doors and empowers individuals to reach their full potential in life,” said Bill Austin, founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation. “The transformation we see in each person is unmistakable. When we help someone hear, they can grow closer to their families, follow their dreams and become an inspiration for others who face similar struggles.”

Changing lives

There are some powerful and inspirational advocates who often join them to help change lives. Among them is Seattle Seahawk Derrick Coleman, who also has hearing loss. The day before winning the Super Bowl, Coleman took time to help the Foundation provide hearing aids to more than 100 New Yorkers in need at Yankee Stadium and inspire children who have faced similar struggles.

“I went through all the pain, and I know that other people have too. The fact that I’m here and I didn’t make any excuses—that my parents didn’t let me—is a blessing,” said Coleman. “That’s why I like talking to kids and meeting them—to let them know I’ve been through it too.”