Think Audiology



Author: Kim Cavitt, Au.D.

I am going to take a departure from my usual coding, reimbursement and pricing article and instead share an initiative that puts audiology at its center. Our profession has an identity crisis. The situation is the result of a lack of consumer awareness and understanding about audiology, what it is, what it offers, and how it can positively impact a consumer and their quality of life.

The mission of Think Audiology is to stop merely talking about the need for audiology awareness and actually do something about it, through the creation of consumer and audiologist resources.

Think Audiology has two connected, yet separate, offerings and approaches to the awareness issue. First, Think Audiology has launched a consumer website and mission to bring attention to the research based evaluation and treatment of hearing, tinnitus and balance conditions and the role audiologists play in assisting the consumer in their journey. The site offers basic information about a variety of audiologic and vestibular conditions and treatment options and provides consumers with unbiased, step by step guidance and resources on how to best address their concerns and their condition. This site is can be viewed at www.thinkaudiology.org. The site focuses on all conditions in our skillset, not just hearing and hearing loss. Many colleagues, including Cliff Olson, Au.D. and Brian Urban, Au.D., have contributed to the Think Audiology materials.

Second, Think Audiology has created a set of “ads” or images that audiologists can use in their social media and print marketing campaign pieces. These professionally designed ads were created specifically to address all aspects of audiology, not just hearing and hearing aids. The goal is to create a grassroots national audiology awareness campaign and movement. We can accomplish this when audiologists all over the country use the same ads and images in their marketing communications during the same date or window of time. Think Audiology will create images for specific awareness initiatives (such as Better Speech and Hearing Month, Healthy Aging Month, Audiology Awareness Month, etc.) and an “Awareness” calendar. We will then suggest the use of certain images or themes for your marketing communications during specific days, weeks or months. We will begin our calendar on June 1, 2019. At this time, all of these materials will be provided at no charge to audiologists and audiology practices.

Think Audiology has a few terms of use. They include:
  • The hashtag (#thinkaudiology) or the Think Audiology logo will be on every image. The reason for this is simple: we want to consistently expose the public to the word “audiology”. Many of our business names and marketing strategies do not include the word nor specifically address the profession. One of the primary goals of the Think Audiology initiative is to change that, one ad, image, blog post, or interaction at a time. We, truly, want folks to Think Audiology.
  • Think Audiology owns the rights to many of these custom designed images and the Think Audiology logo and hashtag. These ads and images cannot be used by manufacturer owned practices or hearing aid dispenser practices. The movement is the promotion of audiology. Use by corporate owned entities and non-audiologists is incongruent to the primary goals of the initiative, which is to promote audiology awareness and the scope of practice of an audiologist. We believe our professional success lies in the practice of audiology, not just hearing and hearing aids.
Ascending Audiologists, who shares our audiology awareness mission, will be our partner in managing access to the Think Audiology DropBox account. You will need to join Ascending Audiologists before you can access the Think Audiology portal. Think Audiology membership in Ascending Audiology is free of charge. You can access Ascending Audiologists and Think Audiology ads and images at https://ascendingaudiologists.com/. Please contact Think Audiology or Ascending Audiologists for more information.

For questions or to learn more or participate in the Think Audiology initiative or movement, contact Kim Cavitt at info@thinkaudiology.org.    
Dr. Kim Cavitt was a clinical audiologist and preceptor at The Ohio State University and Northwestern University for the first ten years of her career. Since 2001, Dr. Cavitt has operated her own Audiology consulting firm, Audiology Resources, Inc. She currently serves on the State of Illinois Speech Pathology and Audiology Licensure Board. She also serves on committees through AAA and ASHA and is an Adjunct Lecturer at Northwestern University.