By Christopher Spankovich This article is a part of the January/February 2019, Volume 31, Number 1, Audiology Today issue. In the March/April 2018 issue of Audiology Today, I compared the professions of audiology and optometry and examined some of the successes of optometry in establishing autonomy and an expanded scope of practice. You may want to stop here and give it a read. I’ll wait. Glad you came back. If you haven’t read it yet: The primary takeaway was that optometry has been around longer as a licensed profession (1901 vs. 1969), has its own entry and national board exams, has three times more practitioners, has a larger private-practice presence (57 percent vs. 21 percent), has obtained limited license physician (LLP) status (circa 1986), and has limited prescription rights and surgical rights (defined at the state level). Optometry has faced—and continues to face—disruptive innovations but, as a profession, it has been able to be the disruptor more often than the disrupted. I ended that article with the question: “Will audiology be the disruptor or the disrupted?” In general, disruption offers a trend for simplification to disrupt complexity. Disruption tends to have an upward trend, where a simpler, more accessible service disrupts a higher, more complex service. For example, consider hearing aid dispensers seeking to expand their services into the audiology scope of practice. Another example, of course, is optometry expanding its scope of practice and disrupting ophthalmology. The optician as a disruptor of optometry is comparable to the disruption of audiology by hearing aid dispensers. In some recent successes for opticians in Canada, opticians licensed to practice in British Columbia are allowed to conduct independent sight tests and determine prescriptions (Collier, 2010). Where Can Audiology Be the Disruptor? Well, if we follow the path of optometry, that would be with LLP status, prescription rights, and surgical services, though not necessarily in that order (Optometry first obtained prescription rights in the state of Rhode Island in 1971, long before LLP status in 1986). Unfortunately, we have barriers—and I am not referring to internal dysfunction and physician opposition. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!