Let Me Hear From You

Let Me Hear From You

Ethics Document and Audiology Awareness Initiatives

By M. Patrick Feeney, PhD

We Hear You!

During our October Board of Director’s meeting, a major agenda item was the Draft Proposed Ethical Practice Policy on Financial Incentives from Industry. We had enlisted member comment for several months using a listserv. Thank you for your input! A few key trends were apparent from the input we received from the listserv.

  • Members did not feel that they had sufficient input in the process of developing the document.
  • As a policy statement, the document was too absolute and would be difficult to enforce.
  • Education and training from industry on the use of their products must continue.

Based on these issues and others raised from the listserv, the board has charged the Ethical Practices Committee to take the following steps.

  1. Separate the document into its four components and make each a draft guideline for interpreting the Code of Ethics in this area rather than a policy.
  2. Obtain member comment on each of the new draft documents.
  3. Create a final draft of each guideline based on member comment and additional research and circulate the revised guideline for comment
  4. Develop a plan for an expanded member-education program on ethics, taking each component of the draft policy separately. This education program should include:
    • AT articles explaining the principles in the document,
    • A regular AT column about ethics,
    • Enhanced Web content about ethics,
    • Development of a Web seminar series about ethics (This method was preferred 2 to 1 in the AT Extra September survey over attending talks about ethics at either AudiologyNOW!® or a state meeting),
    • Free online CEUs for ethics education based on the principles in the document (92 percent of survey respondents requested this), and
    • AudiologyNOW! presentations about the specific principles in the document, e.g., conflicts of interest in audiology.

    The board will also discuss the revised guidelines with our industry partners and engage in dialog about ways in which the Academy and industry may partner to promote ethical conduct.

    Results of Audiology Awareness Initiatives
    As we conclude our celebration of the Academy’s first-ever National Audiology Awareness Month and National Protect Your Hearing Month, we would like to thank all those members who took the time to contribute, participate, and send in their efforts and initiatives to celebrate the month locally. Many significant contributions were made in celebration and we want you to vote on the most creative celebration initiative. View the initiatives and send in your vote by November 17, 2008.

    During the month of October, the Academy also furthered the efforts of the noise-induced hearing loss campaign, Turn It to the Left® (TITTL) by enhancing the TITTL Web site with educational resources and fact sheets and then getting the word out to teachers, school nurses, and school faculty and administrators. The Academy’s ad in the National Education Association’s magazine, NEA Today, reached more than 2.9 million educational professionals and resulted in more than 600 requests for the Turn It to the Left CD® and an additional 1,600 hits and 7,000 page views on the TITTL Web site.