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The History Of Audiology Practice In The U.S.

Audiology is known as the division of science and medicine that pertains to the sense of hearing. Although the study of hearing loss can be traced back a few thousand years, major developments in the field of audiology occurred in the 20th century when the first audiometers, devices used to measure a person’s sense of hearing, were constructed in the 1920s.

More specifically, audiology as a professional practice emerged in the United States during the 1940s. The government established hearing rehabilitation programs in military hospitals after many men and women returned from World War II with noise-induced hearing loss. Shortly after, training programs in audiology appeared in universities throughout the nation as well. In the 50s-60s, programs that focused on aural rehabilitation were offered in community centers. Sub-specialties in audiology, such as pediatric and industrial audiology, appeared in the 70s-80s, and auditory phenomena, like otoacoustic emissions, were being extensively researched and identified. In the 90s, advancements in the technology industry enhanced the instruments audiologists’ use in hearing tests and the devices that are designed to improve a person’s sense of hearing.

1. Who they are/who are their associations

A person who is a medical practitioner in audiology is referred to as an audiologist. Audiologists provide a variety of assessments in order to identify and prevent hearing loss, as well as diagnosis and treat auditory disorders. There are many professional associations for audiologists that provide a platform where the audiology community can read current publications or connect with their cohort, and their website’s also present general information about audiology for the public to read. Some associations in audiology include, but are not limited to:

Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA)

American Academy of Audiology (AAA)

American Auditory Society (AAS)

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO)

Audiology Foundation of America (AFA)

Educational Audiology Association (EAA)

Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA)

Military Audiology Association (MAA)

National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA)

Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA)

2. Where do they provide services

Audiologists provide services in a number of settings, which range from hospitals and private practices, to grade schools and audiology clinics in universities.

3. What are their credentials

New audiologists in the U.S. are required to earn a doctoral degree in audiology, Au.D., as well as have completed clinical training, passed a national competency exam, and obtained state licensing, in order to practice. An audiologist may receive a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology offered by ASHA, or become credentialed through the American Board of Audiology. It is not required to have certifications for practice, but it may be necessary for licensure or requested by employers.

4. Why are there sub-areas in audiology

Pediatric audiologists have equipment specifically for screening children and create a more kid-friendly atmosphere. Educational audiologists work with students at their school to facilitate their learning process. And, industrial audiologists analyze data to determine which workers are at high-risk of hearing loss. Audiologists often train to work in specialized areas in order to provide optimal treatment for their patients, whether it’s for a person’s comfort or protection.

5. When are the various conventions for audiologists in 2017

Each year, audiologists and hearing industry leaders from around the world gather at a number of conventions hosted by various associations in audiology. They attend educational workshops, learn about the newest in hearing technology, and socialize with colleagues. The following is a list of some conventions that are organized for audiologists in 2017:

American Hearing Aid Associates Convention

  When: February 22-25

  Where: Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida

AudiologyNOW! 2017

  When: April 5-8

  Where: Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana

Hearing Loss Association of America Convention

  When: June 22-25

  Where: Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah

15th Symposium on Cochlear Implants in Children

  When: July 26-29

  Where: Hilton San Francisco Union Square in San Francisco, California

AuDacity 2017

  When: September 25-27

  Where: Mohegan Sun Casino/Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut

Most states have academies of audiology or speech-language-hearing associations that also hold conventions every year. For example, here are a few:

California Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Annual Convention and Exhibition

  When: March 16-19

  Where: Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California

New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Annual Convention

  When: April 20-22

  Where: Saratoga Springs City Center in Saratoga Springs, New York

Florida Academy of Audiology’s Annual Convention

  When: August 3-5

  Where: Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida