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Friday, November 24, 2017

2018 World Congress of Audiology – A Historic Occasion

By De Wet Swanepoel, PhD

The International Society of Audiology has been the global home of audiology since the very early beginnings of the profession, now almost 70 years ago. The society supports and advances audiology around the globe, and its biennial World Congress of Audiology (previously called the International Congress of Audiology) provides a unique platform to showcase audiological research from around the world.
 
A Historic Event
The World Congress of Audiology, held biennially since 1952 will be hosted in Cape Town, South Africa in October 2018. Held on every continent of the world, except for Africa, the 2018 meeting promises to be a truly historic occasion. Not only because of the iconic destination but as a platform showcasing clinical audiology science from around the world.
Having the 2018 World Congress of Audiology hosted on African soil for the first time creates a unique opportunity to advocate and promote audiology and hearing health across the continent. Close to 40 million people are living with a permanent disabling hearing loss in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these persons have no access to hearing health care due to challenges that include a lack of human resources - with less than one audiologist to every million persons - and due to unavailable hearing health infrastructure. The 2018 World Congress of Audiology will, therefore, prioritise and use this historic event to stimulate awareness and growth in audiology across Africa.
 
A Diverse Global Program
The rich and varied heritage of the International Society of Audiology's (ISA) biennial congress is characteristic of its continued success, drawing leading researchers, academics and clinicians. ISA’s network of affiliate societies, representing audiological societies in more than 30 countries and on every continent (except Antarctica!), is central to the success of its World Congress of Audiology.
The scientific programme already covers a wide-range of areas including adult and pediatric hearing aids, diagnostic audiology, e-Health, electrophysiology, special populations and a focus on the future priorities for the profession and science of audiology. Leading experts from the USA, Europe, Australia, UK and other world regions will ensure a programme that will cover cutting-edge translational and clinical research.

Considering the ISA’s role as an official partner and financial supporter of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its initiatives in hearing healthcare the World Congress will  showcase global priorities in hearing care with a keynote session by Dr Shelly Chadha, WHO technical officer for prevention of deafness and hearing loss
 
A “Singularly Beautiful” Location
The 2018 World Congress of Audiology will be hosted in the “singularly beautiful city” of Cape Town at the tip of the African continent (Lonely Planet, 2017). Cape Town has been chosen as one of the Top 10 cities in the world for travellers in 2017 (Lonely Planet, 2017) – the latest in a series of accolades that have helped to cement the city’s reputation as a global giant among destinations. Cape Town features second on the list of top cities for 2017 after Bordeaux in France.
The Cape Town International Convention Centre regularly hosts world-class conferences and events and has become  the top convention centre in Africa and one of the leading convention centres in the southern hemisphere. Excellent accommodation, ranging from 5- to 2-star options, is available right at the convention centre to ensure everyone can be accommodated. The convention centre is walking distance from the famous waterfront area with a view of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. 
Tourist attractions are everywhere with Table Mountain, Robben Island and the Waterfront right on your doorstep. There is something for everyone, from the Winelands to shopping, nature reserves, hiking, and exquisite beaches. World Congress of Audiology 2018 delegates and their families can be sure that this promises to be an unforgettable experience.
 
Go Ahead #SaveTheDate
Make sure you save the dates of 28 – 31 October 2018 for this historic audiology event. Individual membership of the International Society of Audiology (www.isa-audiology.org) includes discounted registration fees to the World Congress of Audiology, access to the International Journal of Audiology and to the society’s international community and networks. Abstract submissions are open until 16 April 2018. For more information please visit www.wca2018.co.za.