St. Joseph had the honor of hosting the Missouri Special Olympics State Indoor Games this past weekend.  Over 3,000 athletes and coaches from around Missouri were expected to participate in a variety of indoor games including bowling and basketball.  Games were held at a variety of locations within St. Joseph.

One of the missions of Special Olympics is to improve the overall health and well-being of athletes, not only by building confidence through physical activity but also by providing health screenings and improving nutrition. On Friday, March 29th, Dr. Pamela Nelson and Dr. Janice Richbourg, along with volunteer audiology students from the University of Kansas Department of Communication Disorders and other local hearing providers, administered hearing screenings to over 75 athletes.   These screenings help to identify individuals with impacted ear wax, middle ear disorders such as fluid in the middle ear, and potential permanent hearing loss.  Athletes who do not pass the hearing screenings are referred on for medical management or hearing evaluations.

The Special Olympics State Indoor Games relies heavily on volunteers to make the games run smoothly.  The athletes are precious and very excited to participate in the games as well as the health screenings.  If you are interested in volunteering for next year’s Indoor Games, you can find more information at