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AudiologyNOW! 2013: AAA to Mark 25 Years with a Focus on Innovation

Hogan, Michelle

doi: 10.1097/01.HJ.0000427526.55840.d2

Tips for putting social media marketing tools into practice, an exploration of the promise and potential pitfalls of audiology apps, and an evaluation of outcome measures for teaching the next generation of audiologists are just a few of the topics planned for AudiologyNOW! 2013.

At this year's annual meeting, which is scheduled for April 3-6 in Anaheim, CA, the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) celebrates a quarter century since its 32 founders met in Houston to discuss forming an independent national organization for audiologists. The convention theme chosen to mark this anniversary is “Innovate the Future.”

James W. Hall III, PhD, one of the founders and a member of The Hearing Journal's Editorial Advisory Board, will be presenting a session at the meeting on the history of audiology with Charles Berlin, PhD, of the University of South Florida; Wayne Staab, PhD, of Dr. Wayne J. Staab & Associates; and Robert Margolis, PhD, of the University of Minnesota, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on April 5.

“I think it's good to look back periodically, not just for those who were there, but for the new audiologists,” said Dr. Hall, who is also adjunct professor in the department of audiology at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and extraordinary professor in the department of communication pathology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, in a phone interview.

“The new audiologists are going to have their own set of challenges. They need to realize that these challenges can be accomplished with a lot of hard work and co-operation, and quite a bit of thinking about where the profession should go. The younger generation will be responsible for the survival of the organization in the next 25 years.”

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Reflecting the central role audiology students have to play in future innovation, the Academy will be holding the first ever Student Academy of Audiology conference on April 3 and has planned a session on assessing clinical competence of audiology students for 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on April 6.

“The future of the profession is going to be driven by the education of its current students,” said Virginia Ramachandran, AuD, PhD, who will be presenting the session on assessment with Elaine Mormer, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, and Brad Stach, PhD, of Henry Ford Hospital. “In my perspective, innovation is about starting with the apple on the tree, so to speak, and preparing students to be lifelong learners.”

The session will leave attendees with tangible tools to use in providing feedback and evaluating outcomes in clinical training, said Dr. Ramachandran, who is a senior staff audiologist and research coordinator in the division of audiology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and an adjunct assistant professor and audiology clinical education coordinator at Wayne State University.

“A huge percentage of audiologists are participating in clinical education, but they're not taught how to do that,” she said in a phone interview. “There isn't an evidence base specific to audiology education, so we're looking to evidence from other professions.”

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As potential clients and their caregivers continue to go to the Internet to research and select hearing healthcare professionals, Tami Patzer of TAMI: Total Audience Market Immersion, and Noël Crosby, AuD, of Advanced Hearing Solutions/, will be presenting 10 social media marketing tools needed to grow a business, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on April 5. One of those tools is video marketing.

“Video can be done in a very inexpensive way with the new technology that's available, such as iPads, iPhones, and other smartphones,” Ms. Patzer said in a phone interview. “Audiologists can make high-quality videos answering questions their potential patients might ask.”

Messages like these videos can be shared using social media tools, such as the online pinboard Pinterest, which has been shown to drive traffic back to websites, including those for audiology practices, Ms. Patzer said.

It's important to note that the adoption of new media strategies does not mean the abandonment of traditional marketing techniques, she continued.

“If you've used seminars and direct mail very successfully, you can integrate those with your online messages: record the seminars, include them in your marketing online, and, of course, use QR codes directing people to a landing page where you can collect their name and address or e-mail address so you can direct your marketing.”

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Continuing the theme of the digital world, Samuel R. Atcherson, PhD, assistant professor and director of the Auditory Electrophysiology and (Re)habilitation Laboratory at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock/University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and M. Samantha Lewis, PhD, of Portland VA Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University, will review some of the currently available hearing-related apps from 1 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on April 3.

“However, there is a really big caveat,” Dr. Atcherson said in an e-mail message. “The potential applications we describe may or may not have any real regulation or standards, and we are lacking information about the quality and reliability of some of these applications. That being said, audiologists should have a healthy dose of skepticism until shown otherwise.

“We will share some tips for how to evaluate the quality of apps. For those interested in attending this session, we encourage you to bring your devices to the learning lab.”

Dr. Atcherson recommended that all attendees consider presenting at some point in the future, if they haven't done so already; it's one of the ways he makes the most of the networking opportunities each year at the AudiologyNOW! convention, he said.

This year, Dr. Atcherson has another item on his meeting to-do list.

“I'd like to make it a rule to thank as many founders as I can for what they have done and what they continue to do,” he said.

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Dr. Hall has attended every American Academy of Audiology annual meeting since the very first in Kiawah Island, SC, and he was program chair for the 1992 meeting in Nashville.

“We were a mom-and-pop operation back then,” he said. “We had no management firm, so the program chair was chief cook and bottle washer. I even typed the program and picked it up from the printer.”

This year's meeting is to include 52 featured sessions, 14 learning labs, 121 learning modules, 27 exhibitor courses, and 72 industry updates. Despite the changes, certain pieces of advice on maximizing time at the meeting continue to ring true.

“First of all, don't go to relax; you're going to need a vacation after the convention,” Dr. Hall said. “I would advise taking a look at the program on the way out to the convention, or before then, and charting your course in terms of what you're going to see.

“I can remember many aspects of each convention I've attended over the last 25 years. Be ready for an experience that you've never ever had before in your life.”

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Exhibitors at AudiologyNow!

A special advertising section highlights the products and services of select manufacturers exhibiting at AudiologyNOW! 2013. See p. 47.

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Exclusive to The Hearing Journal App

Only in the March iPad issue, listen in as HJ Editorial Advisory Board member and American Academy of Audiology (AAA) founder James W. Hall III, PhD, recounts the meeting that led to the creation of the AAA 25 years ago. Download the app and access this podcast for free at

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