Marilyn Neault, PhD, PASC, CISC

Marilyn Neault, PhD, PASC, CISC

Marilyn Neault, PhD, PASC, CISCDirector, Habilitative Audiology Program, Boston Childrens Hospital, Assistant Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

BA: Psychology, Middlebury College, 1970
MA: Audiology, University of Massachusetts, 1972
PhD: Audiology, Wichita State University, 1976

Position Statement
As a candidate for the Board of Directors, I look forward to learning about the Academys governance activities in depth. Given the talent level, knowledge, and commitment of the Academys leadership, firm groundwork supports exploration of new endeavors.

The Academy correctly promotes audiologists as expert and preferred providers of hearing and balance care. Such promotion carries with it, however, a humbling responsibility that we must BE expert providers who will surprise the customer with collaborative, compassionate care. We are thousands of licensed audiologists who vary in academic preparation, skill sets and ongoing mentorship. How can we manage the shoreline of competence, to ensure that audiologists deliver correct and beneficial care? The Academy and its partnering organizations can refine standards for AuD programs, redirect applicants who are better suited for other endeavors, develop a praxis exam and recertification plan to maintain the definition of an audiologist, encourage ethical restriction of ones practice to areas of competence, and recognize expertise by valuing specialty certifications.

To support legislative advocacy efforts, the Academy is well-positioned to become a dynamic repository for top-tier data to support consumer needs. To make decisions, policymakers need not anecdotes but data that may be nonexistent, inaccessible or incomprehensible. Legislators truly want to know how hearing technology works, how many constituents need it, how it will improve their quality of life, and how legislation will make a difference. Student researchers should learn to design studies that can generate top-tier evidence and to communicate the findings in accessible formats.

We as a profession need to leap ahead to explore the confluence of rivers of technology: wireless signal reception with acoustic and electric stimulation to the same cochlea, protected or boosted by biologic agents. As new hearing technologies require more laboratory science to design, yet adjustable using a smartphone, we must vary our prognostic measures, improve outcome tools, and learn from consumers what helps most. The boxes in which we test auditory capacity and record results are straining with possibilities for new shapes. Partnering with end-users of the technologies at every stage, including the participation of consumers in graduate and continuing education, will yield more effective and valued care. A healthy respect for the seat we occupy, between the technology and the individual who needs it, should guide our efforts.

Areas of Special Interest

  • Pediatric cochlear implants
  • Auditory neuropathy
  • Unilateral and progressive hearing loss in children
  • Young adult transitional care
  • Evidence accessibility for policymakers

Distinguished Service Award, Massachusetts Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 1994; Better Hearing and Speech Award, Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, Massachusetts Chapter, 1998; Clarke School East (Clarke School for the Deaf) Annual Gala Honoree, 2007; Ellen Kurtzer White Award, Decibels Foundation, 2009; Honors of the Association, Massachusetts Academy of Audiology, 2009; Nominee, National Excellence in EHDI (Early Hearing Detection and Identification) Award, 2009; Massachusetts State Champion, American Cochlear Implant Alliance, 2013

Professional Activities
Director, Audiology Services, Boston Childrens Hospital, 19852005; Director, Habilitative Audiology Program, Boston Childrens Hospital, 2005present; Assistant Professor of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, 1991present; Member, Advisory Board, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 1998present; Audiology Advisory Panel, Cochlear Americas, 20012012; American Board of Audiology, Cochlear Implant Task Force, 2004; Educational Audiology Association, Cochlear Implant Task Force, 2005; Pediatric Subcommittee, Governmental Relations Committee, American Academy of Audiology, 20052008 (chair 20062008); Committee on Pediatric Assessment Guidelines, American Academy of Audiology, 20052010; American Board of Audiology, Cochlear Implant Specialty Certification Committee, Chair, 2009present; American Board of Audiology, Pediatric Audiology Specialty Certification Task Force and Subject Matter Expert, 2009present; Technical consultant on efficacy of cochlear implantation, Tufts Evidence Practice Center, Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality (AHRQ), 2010; Founding Member and Massachusetts State Champion, American Cochlear Implant Alliance, 2013; Program Coordinator, Minuteman Implant Club (New England regional cochlear implant consumer support organization), 1998present; Program Chair, Northeast Cochlear Implant Convention (biennial), 19992013; Course instructor by live interactive videoconference, Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation. College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, 2011; Legislative advocacy, Chapter 233 of the Acts of 2012, An Act to Provide Access to Hearing Aids for Children, Massachusetts State House, 2012; Legislative advocacy, Senate Bill S469, An Act to Provide Insurance Coverage for Cochlear Implants. Massachusetts State House, 20102012.