President's Message: The Right Time, the Right Place

Author: Rita Chaiken, Au.D.

Over the last several months, I have been asked by friends and family who are not audiologists, what is ADA and what makes it distinctive? How will ADA build upon its strengths to move the organization and profession forward? The answers to these questions were found when I reflected on some of our more recent activities.

ADA is visionary. A few years ago we observed the movement of outside industries toward developing products to help the thousands of patients who are in need of amplification but remain unserved due to financial challenges. Seeing that no very low cost, high quality devices were readily available to ALL audiologists, we then partnered in earVenture to bring the reVel and faVor products directly to our profession. They are meant to compete with PSAPs and Big Box stores, not to change an audiologist’s current product mix. The goal is to engage more patients by offering audiological services paired with economical amplification devices in order to educate patients and develop their loyalty. Similarly, we used the Resound Avance years ago, which, oftentimes, eventually enabled us to convert patients into users of more sophisticated technology. Empowering our members to better serve more patients is our ultimate goal.

ADA is collaborative. Our willingness and openness to pool resources with the other audiology organizations, such as with our opposition to the Fit to Serve legislation, will ultimately touch every audiologist and is critically important to policy makers, industries, health care providers, patients and others."

ADA is proactive. Take for instance the new membership category of Audiologist Assistant. Within merely several months of its suggestion, our organization moved toward incorporating it into our By-laws as an additional membership classification. Once again, ADA saw a gap and moved forward to fill it.

ADA is innovative. Recently you may have seen references to our meeting in San Diego this November, now and in the future to be called AuDacity. We are thinking “out of the box” to bring bold, creative ideas to our community. This forum will enable us to engage together to find solutions to the challenges we face.

Students are our great source of inspiration and optimism. So many of them are full of energy and spirit and we have much to learn from each other. The Dalai Lama said: “I think the very purpose of education is to have meaningful life. In order to have meaningful life, you should take care of others’ well-being. Then you feel, ‘Oh, my life is something meaningful.’”

We recognize that every audiologist and future audiologist in ADA has his/her own special gifts to contribute to our organization. We ask you to share those gifts with us. It is true that “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no,” so don’t be surprised if you receive an email or phone call from us requesting your help. It is up to each of us to decide what to give, be it in the form of advocacy, mentoring, education, or any number of volunteer activities. Whether it is time or money, all of us must do our part. ADA is small in numbers compared to our sister organizations. But numbers aren’t important. Our impact on the profession and the world is what truly counts. We will make them both better for our efforts.

This is the right time and ADA is the right place.