We kicked off the conference on Wednesday with many educational and social events to include the ninth annual Academy Research Conference (ARC), focusing on Pediatrics: Advancements in Assessment and Rehabilitation.
Chaired by Dr. Anne Marie Tharpe, the research conference provided attendees with cutting-edge research from highly-knowledgeable professionals and researchers in the field who presented information on assessing speech perception in infancy, binaural and special hearing benefits, fatigue in children with hearing loss in the classroom, and overall best practices for the assessment and intervention of children with hearing loss. Attendees were provided with excellent research outcomes and encouraged to return to their clinics to implement. There were 230 attendees this year, anxious to hear leading researchers discuss some of the hottest topics in pediatric audiology.
Learning Modules also began on Wednesday this year, as did Featured Sessions. The Academy Board of Directors (BOD) hosted the Annual Membership Meeting, whereby candidates for president-elect and members of the BOD spoke to the assembled group regarding their visions for the Academy. Immediately preceding the Annual Membership Meeting, the BOD fielded questions during the Academy Team Huddle.
The First-Time Attendee Orientation was packed and provided “newbies” with critical information needed to navigate AudiologyNOW! The Industry Symposim, sponsored in part by ReSound, discussed the future of smart hearing and drew a full room on Wednesday afternoon.
Student education and events were abundant throughout the conference, starting with the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) Mix and Mingle (sponsored in part by Audigy Group) and the SAA Cheers for Ears (sponsored in part by Oticon, Inc., Phonak, LLC, and Starkey Hearing Technologies) on Wednesday evening, and into the next few days with student-specific workshops and the SAA Conference culminating on Saturday (sponsored in part by Starkey Hearing Technologies).
Wednesday evening featured Celebrate Audiology (sponsored in part by Hamilton CapTel), which drew people to the exhibit hall, where they enjoyed food, drink, and entertainment while meeting with exhibitors and reconnecting with old friends. Many open houses were also well attended that evening, with 10 universities hosting gatherings for their students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
Fellow AAA Foundation supporters enjoyed time together at the annual AAA Foundation Happy Hour Benefit (philanthropic support provided in part by Phonak, LLC) at the unique Crowne Plaza Downtown Union Station, where a real train sits and has been converted into hotel rooms!
The day started off bright and early with a 5K Run/Walk (sponsored in part by Oticon, Inc.), where nearly 100 runners came together, braved the cool temperatures, and supported the Academy’s PAC and AAA Foundation. Luckily, early morning Coffee Meet-Ups were bountiful, so many runners and attendees could partake and get their days started!
New this year, the General Assembly started earlier, at 8:00 am, and offered attendees continuing education credits. With tradition, the Audiology Chorus led off the assembly with their inspiring rendition of the National Anthem. As program chair, I was honored to thank the over 100 Academy volunteers and the Program Committee chairs, as well as Academy staff, whom made AudiologyNOW! 2017 possible. Many volunteers supported the conference and the Academy as a whole with hours of dedication, which assures a successful organization and sustains the profession.
General Assembly continued with President Dr. Ian Windmill addressing the membership about tackling timely and difficult issues that audiologists face today and addressing the need for change within our profession.
President-Elect Dr. Jackie Clark announced the Academy Honors and Awards Recipients and shared her vision for the future of audiology. This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Shelly Chadha, from the World Health Organization, provided a timely and engaging message regarding the state of hearing health around the world and how to become involved to assist those in need.
The assembly closed with next year’s Program Chair Dr. Eileen Rall presenting a video featuring beautiful Nashville, Tennessee, the site for AudiologyNOW! 2018, April 18–21.
Thursday continued with the opening of the exhibit hall and learning opportunities including Research Podiums, Student Workshops, Exhibitor Courses, the PhD Program Fair, more Industry Updates (including Novel Technologies!) and the first of the two-day Poster Sessions (half on Thursday and the other half on Friday).
Over 300 posters were chosen this year for display. The James and Susan Jerger Awards for Excellence in Student Research were presented to six students for their outstanding posters. Additionally, a ribbon was given to an outstanding professional poster in each of the fifteen poster categories.
“Perk the PAC,” a recurring coffee-break opportunity to support the Academy's Political Action Committee (PAC), took place both Thursday and Friday. HearCareers, also open Thursday and Friday, provided dedicated space for free headshots, private interviews, review of job postings around the country, and areas for employers and those seeking employment to connect with each other.
The AAA Foundation’s Auction 4 Audiology, which opened before AudiologyNOW! 2017, featured unique and much sought-after items and raised more than $22,000 to support research, education, and public awareness in audiology and hearing science. Auction items that were not sold will be available once again. Visit the AAA Foundation’s website for more details.
The AudiologyNOW! Mobile App was again a must have! With the app, attendees were able to view posters and presenters’ slides from their mobile devices. They could even take notes in the app or highlight the information during presentations. The app also allowed attendees to report CEU data right into the Academy’s CEU Manager System, making tracking CEUs incredibly easy. But of course, the CEU Manager station was open every day to support attendees in their reports of learning.
Rolling into Thursday afternoon, the American Board of Audiology (ABA) held a Speed upDating event (sponsored in part by Starkey Hearing Technologies), which drew a huge crowd of attendees who probed the minds of leading audiologists about hot topics in the profession.
Learning Modules continued Thursday afternoon, including a special session in which the 2017 Academy Honorees were asked to share their personal stories of success and achievements. An ABA Certificate Holder Mixer took place and the Honors and Awards Banquet (sponsored in part by Phonak, LLC) was held that evening.
Following the banquet, the International Reception recognized the Academy’s international partners. Dine-Arounds on Thursday evening were popular and allowed professionals to network with peers and experience the amazing Indianapolis restaurant scene!
Friday began bright and early again with Sunrise Yoga, which quickly sold out in advance of the conference! Coffee Meet-Ups occurred again, and the day started off with more Learning Modules and Featured Sessions. Student Workshops continued and the exhibit hall was busy from open to close. The Product Theater was a hit and Exhibitor Courses continued, as did Research Podiums. For the second year, the State Fair (sponsored in part by Sprint CapTel) drew many visitors as individual state audiology associations showed off members and creativity! The Student Research Forum (philanthropic support provided in part by Plural Publishing) provided an opportunity for the best and brightest students in audiology to present research with clinical implications for practicing audiologists. Friday night was complete when more than 500 attendees visited Victory Field, consistently ranked in the top 20 Minor League Baseball ballparks in the country, to watch the Indianapolis Indians take on the Toledo Mud Hens.
Saturday morning began with the ACAE/CAPSCD Clinical Education Forum, which drew educators from many universities as well as attendees with a passion for audiology education. Saturday also opened with this year’s Learning Labs and the SAA Fifth Annual Conference, which drew a record attendance of nearly 300 students! In acceptance of an invitation from the Academy, the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiologists (ARA), the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC), and the Association of VA Audiologists held meetings for their members.
Throughout all of this year’s AudiologyNOW!, outstanding educational opportunities, including Tier 1 and Ethics sessions, were offered for all interests and learning levels of professionals and students. The meeting was full of social engagements to support professionals and students, establish connections, and renew old friendships. While impossible to report on every activity that took place, be assured AudiologyNOW! 2017 was truly innovative and highly valuable to all attendees. The backdrop of downtown Indianapolis proved to be an exceptional venue for an amazing experience.
The Oticon Opn™ Family: Bringing Benefits to More People
With the introduction of the Oticon Opn™ family of instruments, an unprecedented approach to signal processing has created the possibility for patients to experience their full sound environment while maintaining overall comfort. This groundbreaking technology is characterized by speed and precision to analyze the soundscape, differentiate between speech and noise, and rapidly attenuate noise signals.
This open-sound experience gives patients the ability to have access to multiple speakers in complex listening environments and choose where to focus. The successful effects of this technology have been documented and, now, more patients can experience these benefits. The Oticon Opn™ family of instruments continues to expand with more styles and features. Join us to hear how the open sound paradigm can open up the world to more of your patients!
Signia Introduces the Only Made for iPhone Hearing Aid with High-Definition Binaural Hearing
At AudiologyNOW! 2017, Signia introduced its new hearing aid—Pure 13 BT, which incorporates the industry’s broadest and most innovative use of Bluetooth, together with high-definition binaural hearing, to deliver better than normal hearing with a direct connection to iPhone. Based on Signia’s e2e wireless 3.0™ and Bluetooth wireless technology, the Pure 13 BT is the only hearing aid in the world that can simultaneously exchange data between the hearing aids and transfer audio signals from external audio sources directly into the hearing aids. It is also the first and only hearing aid to use Bluetooth wireless technology in conjunction with iPhone’s motion sensors to adapt to various listening situations when the wearer is on the move.
Sprint CapTel: Audiologist Program
Boost your practice with this no-cost treatment option for patients with difficulty hearing and understanding others on the telephone. Anyone who has trouble using the phone due to hearing loss is a great candidate for Sprint CapTel.
Sprint CapTel can be paired with a hearing aid, or prescribed as a solution unto itself. The free Sprint CapTel kit in your office can improve patient outcomes, reduce hearing aid returns, and help your practice stand out from competitors. Simply display the kit and submit a certification form (online or paper), and Sprint CapTel will do the rest.
Your patients will receive a CapTel phone, in-home installation, and one-button access to Customer Service. Best of all, it’s FREE for your practice and patients!
The ZPower Rechargeable System for Hearing Aids
The only rechargeable battery solution that provides all-day power and the flexibility to interchange ZPower batteries with disposables. All with safe and 100 percent recyclable silver-zinc batteries small enough to be used with today’s most popular hearing aids.