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Deaf Baseball Player Aims for the Major Leagues

by Admin on May 29, 2012

A high-school senior from New Jersey has grabbed the attention of baseball scouts across the nation. As one of the top pitchers in his region, Austin Solecitto is headed to the state playoffs with his team.

But it’s not only his skill on the field that has caught everyone’s attention. The 18-year-old pitcher was diagnosed with profound hearing loss at the age of two. He wears a cochlear implant throughout the day, but when he’s pitching on the mound, he often disables the device. Ironically, Austin explains that the ability to disable his cochlear implant while pitching has proven to be an advantage, since he is able to focus on his pitching and not the other team or parents.

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. Cochlear implants have been an area of major advancement in the arena of hearing rehabilitation over the last several decades. Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute (JHBI) is proud to offer patients an experienced, comprehensive cochlear implant team, consisting of neurotologists, audiologists with special board certification in cochlear implant assessment and rehabilitation, physician’s assistants, and allied health professionals within the Jacksonville community. Through their expertise and dedication, they are helping to restore the gift of hearing to patients both locally and internationally. And some of these patients, like Solecitto, might even set their sights on the major leagues.

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