A Movement Was Born: Thank You to Our Founders

A Movement Was Born: Thank You to Our Founders

November 16, 2017 Academy News

Thirty years ago, this week (November 13-16, 1987), the catalyst for a professional movement was triggered during a panel discussion at the annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. Rick Talbott chaired a session called “The Future of Audiology,” with panel members James Jerger, Lucille Beck, George Osborne, and Jay Hall. 

The session focused on a wide range of topics, including the need for audiology to “evolve” into an autonomous, doctoral-level profession as the first professional degree, with the goal of achieving limited license practitioner status for direct access to patients with hearing and balance disorders. Panelists called for an enriched educational curriculum that eliminated the need for the clinical fellowship year (CFY). 

During his presentation, Dr. Jerger lamented that audiologists comprised only 14 percent of ASHA, and called for the formation of a new, independent organization, “of, by, and for” audiologists. The packed room exploded with a loud ovation and thunderous applause, and a movement was born. Dr. Jerger invited 32 audiology leaders to attend an audiology study group on January 30-31, 1988, at the Medical Center Marriott in Houston Texas, and these pioneers became the Founding Members of the American Academy of Audiology. 

Of course, there were many other seminal events in the creation of an organization, “of, by, and for Audiology,” but the spark grew into a flame 30 years ago this week in New Orleans. 

Audiology Today Anniversary Issue (2008)

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