Have You Heard? (December 2016)

Department of Labor (DOL) Rescinds Hearing Aid Specialist Apprenticeship Program
On November 15th, ADA was informed that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) officially rescinded the highly concerning apprenticeship program for hearing aid dispensers. The controversial apprenticeship program was rescinded on July 25th. The DOL cited the need to seek additional input from audiology stakeholders before creating such a program in the future. This information was provided through a correspondence with Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI), who expressed concern to the DOL on the development of the apprenticeship program absent input from audiology organizations. ADA will continue to monitor future actions by the DOL regarding hearing aid dispenser apprenticeship to ensure that the public interest is protected.    
U.S. Senate Passes H.R. 3471, “Fit to Serve” Bill with Patient Protections
On November 17th, the U.S. Senate passed, H.R. 3471, the Veterans Mobility Safety Act of 2015 by unanimous consent. This bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on September 12, 2016, and is expected to be signed into law by the President. While the legislation includes a provision that would recognize hearing aid specialists for appointment under the VA, it specifically requires that hearing aid specialists provide services only related to the practice of fitting and dispensing of hearing aids, and under a treatment plan of an audiologist. The passage of H.R. 3471 (and the DOL decision referenced above) represent the culmination of efforts by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), American Academy of Audiology (AAA), and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), to prevent hearing aid dispensers from inappropriately expanding their job functions and duties both within the VA system and on the state level.    
Seminar Proposals Now Being Accepted for AuDacity 2017!
Audiologists and other professionals are encouraged to submit instructional seminar proposals for AuDacity 2017. The ADA Education Committee will review all proposals and select a limited number of presentations that will provide an innovative educational program for the attendees. The committee seeks unique and insightful proposals on clinical audiology topics, audiology business topics and hearing technology topics, which are innovative and forward thinking. Strong preference will be given to original proposals that have not been delivered at other conferences.

The deadline to submit your proposals is January 31, 2017. Please visit www.audiologist.org for more information.    
ADA 2016 Awards Recognize Outstanding Individuals in Audiology
Several outstanding individuals were recognized for their significant contributions to the profession of audiology during the AuDacity 2016 conference.

“These award recipients have made extraordinary contributions that have assisted ADA in their mission to advance professional autonomy.” said ADA President Rita Chaiken, Au.D. “ADA and the profession of audiology are truly grateful for all of these individuals.” The ADA Audiology Advocate Award was given to Representative Lynn Jenkins (KS) in recognition of her outstanding efforts to expand access to hearing and balance health care services for millions of American seniors through her introduction of the Audiology Patient Choice Act (H.R. 2519).

The Craig W. Johnson Audiology Advocate Award was presented to Briana Bruno Holton, Au.D. This award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the profession of audiology through federal and/or state advocacy.

The Leo Doerfler Award, which is awarded to recognize an audiologist who has demonstrated outstanding clinical services in the community throughout his/her career, was presented to William Diles, M.A.

The David Goldstein Award recognizes the accomplishments of an audiologist who has made significant contributions to the profession by promoting the transformation of audiology to a doctoral profession with the Au.D. as its distinctive designator. The award also holds as core values the importance of setting an example for future audiologists as well as excellence in providing quality patient care. The recipient of this award was Victor Bray, Ph.D.

Robert DiSogra, Au.D. was awarded the Joel Wernick Award, which is presented in recognition of an outstanding educational contribution within the profession of audiology or hearing science.    
City University of New York Student Jessica Woodson Takes Home Grand Prize at Student Business Plan Competition
ADA is pleased to announce that City University of New York student Jessica Woodson earned first place honors and a $5,000 cash grant during the fourth annual ADA Student Business Plan Competition, held Saturday, November 12 in San Diego, CA.

The ADA Business Plan Competition is geared for audiology students seeking meaningful hands-on business experience, and the opportunity to showcase their knowledge and creativity. Early-round activities included development of a written executive summary and business plan, which was judged on creativity, feasibility, completeness, cohesiveness, professionalism and polish. Finalists received an all-expense-paid trip to AuDacity where the Competition culminated with a live general session featuring student presentation pitches, and rapid-fire questions from the judges.

“The entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy displayed by Jessica, over the past six months of competition, personifies what it takes to be a successful practice owner,” said ADA President Rita Chaiken, Au.D. “The level of knowledge and resourcefulness displayed by all of the 2016 finalists offers great assurance that the future of audiology is in great hands!”

ADA 2016 Student Business Plan Competition honorable mentions go to Lauren Casady and Madison Mitchell of Auburn University, who finished in second place, and Sarah Smith representing Wayne State University, who took home third place honors.

Competition Judges included Tim Steele, Ph.D., Jana Brown, Au.D. and Erica Fleck, Au.D.. Audiology Practices Editor, Brian Taylor, Au.D., also made a return appearance as the Master of Ceremonies.

"With the support of The Hearing Review's time and resources, these students have been able to gain valuable business skills and the confidence that will allow them to practice autonomously in whatever setting they choose,” said Dr. Chaiken. “We are also grateful for the judges who have taught these students valuable lessons that will allow them to flourish once they graduate and begin their professional careers.”    
Early Career Professionals SIG Now Forming
If you are seeking ongoing networking and collaborative learning opportunities with other early career professionals, register now for the ADA Early Career Special Interest Group at www.audiologist.org today. There is still room on the committee—if you are interested in developing resources for your peers, please contact Stephanie Czuhajewski at sczuhajewski@audiologist.org.