SYRACUSE, NY—Current and former National Football League players and their families will be eligible for education about hearing care, hearing evaluation, and discounted prices on hearing aids under a program offered by EarQ.
The program, unveiled October 17, is the result of an agreement between the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and EarQ, a national network of hearing healthcare professionals based in Syracuse.
Andre Collins, the NFLPA’s director of former player services, said that the discount program reinforces the players union’s commitment to the well‐being and improved quality of life of its members and their families. Collins added, “It will be a beneficial and highly utilized program. I can’t think of one person who played in the NFL who doesn’t have some sort of hearing loss.”
In addition to the usual hearing strain that most people experience over a lifetime, professional football players are also exposed to high‐decibel environments of the stadiums where their games are played and the extreme physical stress inherent to the sport.
Ed Keller, founder and president of EarQ, noted, “While this discount program with the NFLPA will have an impact on its members and their families, it also serves as a spotlight on hearing loss for everybody.” He added, “By providing this discount to the players, we hope to raise awareness of hearing impairments, lessen the stigma of using hearing devices, and help the general public improve their hearing health.”
This discount program is also available to members of the NFL Coaches Association.
Informational packets on the EarQ/NFLPA Member Hearing Education and Discount Program are being mailed to members in October, and hearing evaluations will be available at the NFLPA’s annual meeting in 2012.