Currently viewing Vol. 4 • Issue 5 • 2017

Message from the President

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During the month of October, audiologists have a unique opportunity to promote and support audiology in Canada. As the outgoing president of the Canadian Academy of Audiology, I would like to acknowledge the amazing audiologists we have in Canada. In particular, the ones who show special commitment and dedication to the CAA. As we celebrate our 20th year, National Audiology Month feels extra special.

This year the volunteers on the Board of Directors as well as the many Committees, Task Forces, and Interest Groups have worked tirelessly outside of their day-to-day responsibilities to contribute to the mission of the CAA which is to enhance the role of audiologists in Canada through advocacy, education, and research. To promote Audiology Month, a compelling video is available on the CAA website that highlights what it is like to be an adult living with hearing loss. The impact of these stories speaks to the challenges that Canadians experience with this “invisible disability.” Further to this, an article in the National Post during Hearing and Speech Month in May reminded the readership that people with unmanaged hearing loss experience barriers in school, work, and social relationships, which can have a negative impact on cognitive and mental health status. The article encouraged readers to include hearing health care activities as part of an overall plan for health and well-being. These examples of advocacy and awareness solidifies CAA’s commitment to support healthy hearing and to get hearing on the radar of Canadians’ health care routine.

And it’s not just acquired hearing loss that gained attention from the CAA volunteers this year. The Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force (CIHTF), a collaboration between the CAA and Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC), supported a petition from the Hearing Foundation to advocate for comprehensive infant hearing healthcare in all provinces and territories in Canada. Currently, infant hearing loss detection and intervention programs are not equally available to babies across the country. The petition gained enough signatures to be read in the House of Commons and some CIHTF members arranged meetings with government. It is the passion and dedication of these audiologists, from all across the country that will make positive change for Canada’s hearing health care, regardless of age.

Education was enhanced this year by the Vestibular Special Interest Group who completed a scoping review for Vestibular Assessment and Management for Canadian Audiologists. With an accompanying webinar, this document is a summary of the current research and common clinical practices for vestibular assessment and management. Although not a regulatory practice document, it is a high-quality resource for the state of the science for this important area of audiological practice. Without the expertise and dedication of the volunteers in this group, a document of this nature would not be possible.

It is also important to highlight the launch of our blog where CAA members can contribute to high level discussions on specific topic areas of audiology. This has been a successful endeavour and a great way to connect members of the CAA and share knowledge and experience. Further to this, we experienced a record number of submissions for posters and research talks for the conference this year. The Science and Education Committee clearly has outdone themselves in their contributions this year. Through their efforts, attendees at the 20th conference in Ottawa will be exposed to a variety of topics as they engage with researchers, clinicians, and students about their work.

These are just some of the highlights of the year that I felt compelled to acknowledge during this special month. Yes, the goal for October is to promote and support the profession of audiology in Canada. However, I feel this has been a constant effort by the many volunteers within the CAA throughout the year. I am grateful for the work you have done, and continue to do. I am also thankful for the wonderful people who participate in these activities on their own time. I learned early in my career that audiologists are amazing people, not just for what they do for a living, but for who they are. Thank you for your passion, dedication, and commitment to audiology in Canada. It has been my pleasure to witness first hand this enthusiasm and it has energized me to continue to support the CAA in its mission toward audiology advocacy, education, and research.

With sincere thanks,
Marlene Bagatto

About the author

Marlene Bagatto, AuD, PhD

Marlene Bagatto is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the National Centre for Audiology at Western University. She is the Chair of the Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force which advocates for equitable infant hearing health care across Canada. Dr. Bagatto has over 20 years of experience developing and implementing clinical protocols for the Ontario Infant Hearing Program. The research in her laboratory supports some of the new developments applied in this new version of the Pediatric Amplification Protocol.