✓ NEW EDITORS OF JAAA ANNOUNCED
The American Academy of Audiology has named Gary P. Jacobson, PhD, editor-in-chief, and Devin McCaslin, PhD, deputy editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology (JAAA). Beginning three-year terms on Jan. 1, 2012, Jacobson and McCaslin will succeed current Editor-in-Chief James Jerger, PhD, who will retire at the end of this year after 22 years of service to the journal.
Jacobson, who is a Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences and Director of Audiology in the Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Hearing & Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has served as an assistant editor for JAAA and editor of the American Journal of Audiology. He has also published in the areas of vestibular and balance, auditory electrophysiology, tinnitus, intraoperative neurophysiology, brain mapping, and assessment of clinical outcomes.
McCaslin has also served as an assistant editor for JAAA and is an Associate Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences in the Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Hearing & Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. McCaslin has conducted research in the areas of neurophysiological mechanisms of tinnitus, evoked potentials, outcome measures, and balance function testing.
✓ AAA AWARDED SEAT ON AMA CPT PANEL
The American Medical Association (AMA) has selected the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) to serve on its Current Procedural Terminology/Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee. The committee is a panel of specialty societies that will facilitate the review and development of applications for CPT codes used by qualified non-physician healthcare professionals.
“The profession of audiology now has greater representation and a larger stake in decisions that ultimately [affect] reimbursement to audiologists for covered Medicare services,” AAA said in a statement.
Previously, audiology was represented by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), which also represented the field of speech language pathology. The victory is significant for AAA which has long held that audiology and speech language pathology are two separate professions that deserve distinct representation.
In a statement, ASHA said that it welcomes the addition of the American Academy of Audiology to the panel. “The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is dedicated to collaborating with all audiology organizations when it furthers the interests of audiologists.
“The addition of AAA is in keeping with CPT HCPAC rules that allow a single profession to be represented by more than one organization if, as was the case with AAA, a given requesting organization meets specific criteria.”
✓ NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF VS. NETFLIX
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) filed a lawsuit against Netflix charging that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide closed captioning for most of its “Watch Instantly” movies and television.
Because the ADA requires that all “places of entertainment” provide “full and equal enjoyment” for people with disabilities, the plaintiffs are asking the court to declare that Netflix's behavior constitutes a violation of Title III of the ADA, and to require that Netflix provide closed captions on all of its streaming content.
“We have tried for years to persuade Netflix to do the right thing and provide equal access to all content across all platforms. They chose not to serve our community on an equal basis; we must have equal access to the biggest provider of streamed entertainment. As Netflix itself acknowledges, streamed video is the future and we must not be left out,” said NAD President Bobbie Beth Scoggins.
“There is no excuse for Netflix to fail to provide captions so that deaf and hard-of-hearing customers have access to the same movies and TV shows as everyone else,” said Arlene Mayerson, Directing Attorney of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund. “Netflix admits that there is no technological issue. For people who are deaf and hard of hearing, captions are like ramps for people who use wheelchairs.”
Plaintiffs other than NAD include the Western Massachusetts Association of the Deaf and Hearing-Impaired and a deaf Massachusetts resident.
In December 2010, the Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA) filed a similar lawsuit against the Cinemark movie chain, claiming that by failing to provide captioned movies at its four theaters in Alameda County, CA, Cinemark was discriminating against persons with hearing impairment in violation of the ADA. In April, ALDA agreed to drop the suit after Cinemark announced that it would provide a closed captioning option in all of its first-run theatres by mid-2012.