AAA 2019, the annual conference of the American Academy of Audiology, creates a palpable excitement in the air and the AAA Foundation enjoys contributing to this energy by hosting multiple exciting events. 

Due to popular demand, the designer handbag auction during the Foundation’s Happy Hour will be back in 2019! Last year’s designer handbags included options from Burberry and Coach and this year a Kate Spade handbag will be among the items. You must be present to bid and win! 

The Happy Hour, sponsored in part by Phonak, is a ticketed event, and tickets may be purchased in advance at a discounted rate with conference registration. Full-price tickets will be available at the door. Special rates are available for students. 

In addition to providing the opportunity to bid on new and gently used designer handbags, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks while meeting new colleagues and catching up with old friends, the venue allows audiologists to hobnob with luminaries in the field and mentor new professionals. 

The Foundation Happy Hour—to be held 7:00–8:30 pm on Wednesday, March 27, in the Elijah Pierce Ballroom at the Hilton Columbus Downtown—will top off the first night of conference events by immediately following Celebrate Audiology. We look forward to seeing you there! 

The Foundation is once again partnering with the Oticon Foundation to host the annual Marion Downs Lecture in Pediatric Audiology on the morning of Friday, March 29. In honor of the 15th anniversary of the lecture series, the Foundation is excited to feature a panel of experts discussing autism spectrum disorder and children with hearing loss. 

The panel will include research scientist and virologist Glenn Rall, PhD, United Kingdom-based Jolanta McCall, MA, MSc, an educational audiologist responsible for the United Kingdom’s first clinic devoted to hearing assessment for children with autism, and special needs psychologist Christen Szymanski, PhD. Dr. Szymanski investigates the symptoms of autism in children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The panel is certain to be a fascinating and informative discussion and the popular Marion Downs Lecture is always highly attended. 

Please stop by the Foundation booth at Academy Central while you are attending the conference to say hello to your Foundation staff and trustees. We welcome your ideas and suggestions and look forward to sharing information on our current programs. 

The Membership Assistance Program (MAP) continues to be available for American Academy of Audiology members who are experiencing financial barriers to conference attendance. This program provides complimentary conference registration for selected applicants. Applications are due January 7. For more details, visit the AAA Conference website, www.AAAConference.org and search keywords “Member Assistance.”

The Foundation Board of Trustees looks forward to seeing you in Columbus!