CAA’s 20th Anniversary!

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Can you believe it has already been 20 years? It all started at a pub somewhere in the United States where a group of 10 or 15 audiologists from Canada were sitting around drafting how the CAA may work… this was done on a crumpled napkin. Dennis Hirx was our first president and he set the CAA on the path that has led to what we have now. Dr. Richard Seewald was our keynote speaker and he challenged us to think hard about what we wanted for our federal audiology organization.

From these humble beginnings, the annual conference of the Canadian Academy of Audiology has become the most important annual gathering in Canada for hearing care providers, researchers, and industry professionals by offering continuous learning opportunities so that our patients and families continue to receive world-class service, promoting networking opportunities for attendees in order to strengthen inter-professional relationships, and drawing attention to the most recent advances in the delivery of hearing care therapies and technologies.

What better way to celebrate the Canadian Academy of Audiology’s 20 years than to host the annual conference and exhibition in the nation’s capital during the country’s 150th anniversary (the “sesquicentennial”)? This year’s event takes place from October 11 to 14th, 2017 and adopts a format familiar to those who have recently attended, with two pre-conference workshops, a plenary session to open each day of the conference, a world-class exhibition focusing on recent technological advances, and 25 individual sessions. The academy is honoured and excited to announce that the 2017 Keynote Speaker is Dr. Edward Deci, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. Dr. Deci is co-founder of the highly influential Self-Determination Theory, a theory of motivation that has been applied in many contexts including health care, education, the workplace, parenting, and sports to name a few. Day two opens with Dr. Christopher Plack, the Ellis Llwyd Jones Professor of Audiology at the University of Manchester. Dr. Plack is an internationally distinguished for his research on “hidden hearing loss” and will be sharing with the audience recent findings from his lab. Day three opens with Francois Julita of Sonova, Switzerland a dynamic speaker who will discuss the increasing importance of the internet in audiologic care.

The CAA is tremendously excited at the slate of feature sessions at the conference, the focus of which include a diverse range of topics including listening effort, direct-to-consumer over-the-counter devices (i.e., PSAPs), including a session comparing outcomes with traditional hearing instruments (Nick Reed, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), cochlear implants, comorbidities of hearing loss so that practitioners can discuss the role of hearing in health outcomes beyond hearing (Dr. Harvey Abrams; Dr. Samantha Lewis National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research), pediatric audiology (Dr. Ryan McCreery, director of research at Boys Town National Research Hospital), basic auditory mechanisms (Dr. Larry Roberts, professor emeritus, McMaster University) and smartphone-based sound therapies for tinnitus (Dr. Michael Chrostwoski, CEO of Sound Options Tinnitus Treatments)… and the list goes on.

Prior to the start of the conference, two concurrent pre-conference workshops will take place. “Patient-Centred Care: From Theory to Practice” is chaired by renowned rehab audiologist, Dr. Joseph Montano of New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weil Cornell Medical Center. An “all-star” line-up is contributing to this workshop and includes recent recipient of the AAA Distinguished Achievement Award, Prof. John Greer Clark of the University of Cincinnati, Prof. Amyn Amlani (Chair of the Dept. of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), and Prof. Kathy Pichora-Fuller of the University of Toronto. The other pre-conference workshop focuses on vestibular audiology and designed for those who are just starting their path in vestibular audiology as well as the advanced professional. This inter-disciplinary session is co-chaired by recognized leaders in vestibular care, audiologists Janine Verge and Erica Zaia. Cleophas_Pelissier_(Pete)_v2 Contributing speakers in the session include surgeon and founder of the Ottawa Hospital Multidisciplinary Dizziness Clinic, Dr. Darren Tse, Dr. Devin McCaslin of the Mayo Clinic and current president of the American Balance Society, and audiologist and PhD student at the University of Montreal, Maxime Maheu.

At this year’s conference gala social event, the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the academy will be in the style of a “Roaring 20s!” cocktail party and stroll through a 1920’s style boardwalk called Gatsby Alley which includes a gala dinner, dance performance, costume contest, and silent auction. For those less inclined to teetotal for the evening, 1920s prohibition will not be a component of the gala.

We hope to see many friends return and new friends join us for this landmark anniversary of the academy. See you in Ottawa!

About the authors

Gurjit Singh, MSc, PhD

Gurjit Singh, PhD, Reg. CASLPO is a Senior Research Audiologist and Program Manager at Phonak AG in Switzerland, the largest manufacturer of hearing loss rehabilitation technologies (e.g., hearing aids, cochlear implants, etc) in the world. He works in the long-term research division of the company and is based in Toronto, Canada. In addition to holding Adjunct Professor status in the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University, he also holds Adjunct status at the University of Toronto and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. He is also a clinical audiologist (Reg. CASLPO) and the current Past-President of the Canadian Academy of Audiology. Broadly, he is interested in factors that contribute to success with audiologic rehabilitation. His projects focus on the audiologic consequences of listening to signals that contain or evoke emotional responses, the role of cognition in hearing, emerging technologies (e.g., internet technologies), and factors that contribute to judgment and decision-making in patients and practitioners. Dr. Singh completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute that focused on teleaudiology, a PhD (Cognitive Psychology) from the University of Toronto where his research focused on the role of attention in speech understanding, an M.Sc. (Audiology) from the University of Western Ontario, and an M.A. (Social Psychology) from the University of Waterloo.

Marlene Bagatto, AuD, PhD