For over 17 years I traveled the world as an audiologist conducting presentations and training on audiology and hearing instruments for a major manufacturer, visiting over 40 countries and every continent. Audiologists around the world, while a diverse group, share the same goals and objectives for our patients. I invite guest articles on a variety of topics, from the ways in which audiologists differ in training, expertise, and scope of practice from one country to another, to interesting, debonair, or disgusting practices in other countries. Stories of travel, clinical practice, research, training diversity and other topics are of particular interest.
Please send your submissions to my attention at TRaynorDr@Gmail.com. Articles and posts are ideally submitted in English and at least 500 words, but not more than 1000 words.
Recently there more audiologists outside the United States that are looking toward the Doctor of Audiology Degree (Au.D.). The next topic at Hearing International is to look at the Au.D. and its proliferation in countries other than the United States. The Doctor of Audiology is defined as an individual that helps patients with hearing and balance problems primarily by diagnosing hearing loss and balance difficulties and fitting hearing aids and assistive listening devices for those with permanent hearing impairment. in many countries there are audiological physician programs that are quite different, the “new” Au.D. programs offer an educational experience that is a non-physician clinical track in the field of audiology emphasizing the clinical learning experience. Though many programs have a research component, this preparation is at the doctoral level and primarily prepares clinicians rather than researchers. Before we can look at the proliferation of the Au.D. around the world, it is necessary to overview some of the events that led to it’s development.
Where Did It Come From?
As the field of Audiology was maturing in the United States in the 1980s, there were some inherent problems. First and foremost among the issues was that, although the private practice segment of the field was growing, most of the providers were Master’s Degree audiologists. Not being a doctoral level provider became self limiting to the profession that fostered difficulties with third party payment and other reimbursement issues. This created a rather second-class profession compared to Optometry, Chiropractic, Psychology, Dentistry and especially with physicans. In addition, those 2-3% of audiologists practicing that did practice doctoral level had many different non descriptive designations, such as Ph.D., Ed.D., Sc.D., D.A, and a number of others; all of which offered no indication that audiology was their specialty. While there had been other unsuccessful efforts toward a professional doctorate in Audiology in the 1960s and 1970s; it was not until a 1988 Academy of Dispensing Audiologists (ADA) (former name for the Academy of Doctors of Audiology) meeting in Chicago that progress really began to move forward. While considered by some professionals as a “radical” move, it has proven to be a perceptive and profession building concept puts this group of audiologists as innovators. The working group consisting of Leo Doerfler, PhD (right); David Citron III, PhD; David Cieliczka, MS; George Osborne, PhD (Left); Susan Whichard, MS; David Goldstein, PhD (right); and Thomas Zachman, PhD., in their several meetings at the Pittsburgh Airport outlined the ideal clinical doctoral program for audiologists to provide services in a private practice setting. After much discussion, soul searching, consultations, and curriculum modifications; the working group decided upon the initial curriculum and that the designator for the new degree should be Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.). It was designed to produce audiologists skilled in providing diagnostic, rehabilitative, and other services within hearing, balance, and related audiological fields. While there were lots of individuals that were responsible for the refinement and further development of the Au.D., this committee actually put time, energy , effort and personal as well as ADA resources into its incubation and marketing of the new concept. The newly formed American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) eventually approved the new degree and has endorsed it as the standard for audiologists in the United States since 2007. There was much discussion among academicians about the cosmetics of the specific programs and the specific implementation of the new degree program within their various institutions but the first the Doctor of Audiology Degrees (Au.D.) were awarded by Baylor University under the direction of Dr. James Jerger (left) in 1996. The Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) has now evolved as the professional degree for an audiologist. At most US universities, the residential program can typically be completed in 4-years if the student has a background in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology/Communication Sciences and Disorders while students without a background will generally have to complete a second-bachelor’s program. Since 2007, most US audiology educational programs have moved the Doctor of Audiology degree format and virtually all recent Audiology graduates of residential programs are now designated with the Au.D. In the United States, after an Au.D. is obtained, virtually all states require a license before practicing audiology.
Once the Au.D credential became an obvious need by Master’s Degree practitioners, there were online programs established to offer distance learning programs. While there were programs offered initially at the Central Michigan/Vanderbilt University, University of Florida, Pennsylvania School of Optometry (now Salas University), Nova Southeastern University, and University of Arizona School of Health Sciences. Although Salus University and Central Michigan/Vanderbilt programs have now closed, the A.T. Still, University of Arizona School of Health Sciences, Nova Southeastern, and the University of Florida remain active and available. While there have been many international students in these programs the University of Florida reports that almost 20% of their current class is from outside the United States.
Next week at Hearing International we will discuss the specifics of the international component of these programs and how perspective students can secure admission to study for the Doctor of Audiology Degree online.
Summer is now upon us in and it is time to turn our interests to summer sports. A summer sport that is becoming more and more popular in the US –though still far less so than almost anywhere else–is what Americans call”Soccer“ and the rest of the world knows as football. For Americans, of course, “Football” means the Gridiron version (American Football).
This week, Hearing International looks at Football and deafness and discusses a major triumph for the hearing impaired. Soccer is the most important sport worldwide as there are teams from the smallest countries to the largest countries, professional teams and amateur teams, and now there are teams for the deaf as well. The FIFA World Cup is arguably the most watched sporting event in the world. Most of other sports seem to be regional with a large following in their home countries or within cultures, such as Cricket, Baseball, American Football, and Hockey, but Soccer (Football) has a world-wide following!
Early evidence suggests that soccer began in China during the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC. At that time, during the Han dynasty, people dribbled a leather ball and kicked it into a small net. Records also indicate that Romans and Greeks used to play ball for fun and frolic. Some evidence points to Kyoto, Japan where kicking of a ball was popular sport. However, the roots of modern soccer lie in England, where it is reported that the first soccer “ball” was the head of a Danish brigand (outlaw). During medieval times, soccer players reportedly engaged in many now-banned practices such as kicking, punching, biting and gouging one another. The main aim was to carry the ball to a target spot.
People grew so fond of the game that they would throng the field all day long. Sometimes the competition grew fierce and so wild that there were frequent incidents of violence during the game. It is also said that soldiers admired the game so much that they skipped archery practice to watch it. Due to these incidents of violence and the military preoccupations with soccer, King Edward III banned soccer in 1365 and in 1424 King James I of Scotland (left) proclaimed in Parliament— “Na man play at the Fute-ball” (Scottish for: No man shall play football).
In 1815, a major development took place that made soccer popular in English universities, colleges and schools. A set of rules was developed, known as the Cambridge Rules. Football was divided into two types: some colleges and schools opted for Rugby rules that allowed tripping, shin kicking and also carrying the ball, activities that were exclusively prohibited by the Cambridge rules.
Modern soccer was established in October 1863 when eleven representatives from London clubs and schools met at the Freemason’s Tavern (right) to set up common fundamental rules to control the matches among themselves. The outcome of this meeting was the formation of the Football Association. In December 1863, the Rugby Football and Association football finally split, as the supporters of the Rugby School rules walked out. Firmly establishing the foundation of soccer in 1869, the Football Association strictly banned any kind of handling of the ball.
Soccer’s popularity spread rapidly during the 1800s as British sailors, traders and soldiers introduced the sport to different parts of the globe. In Europe, Italians, Austrians and Germans embraced the game, while Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil adopted the sport in South America. FIFA (Federation International de Football Association) was established in 1904 and by the early 1930s, different leagues were operating in various countries. FIFA is credited with organizing the first World Cup in Uruguay, which the host country (right) won by defeating Argentina (left).
The Deaf and Soccer
Soccer has been played by deaf people since it founding. The first recorded organized game between deaf teams was played in 1871 in the UK and the first deaf soccer team dates back to 1871 — the Glasgow DFC. An important aspect of soccer or any sport is that it supplies intrinsic satisfaction to the participant and a social link to society. With its international scope, soccer offers the deaf community the opportunity to travel and stay in contact with each other. It is also a means of making friends and sharing experiences.
Some soccer clubs are strictly for the deaf community, and the only criterion to join is that you must be deaf. This nurtures a sense of belonging for the deaf community and facilitates their participation. The deaf soccer teams prefer to use a flag, which is visual, rather than a whistle for obvious reasons when playing among themselves. To be considered as a “Deaf Player for league purposes the International criterion is that players must have a hearing loss of at least 55 dBHTL in their better ear. All players competing in deaf matches must remove hearing aids before playing, which creates another obstacle to overcome. Deaf soccer teams, however, do not play only against other deaf soccer teams. They often play Hearing teams as well. Playing Hearing teams can have disadvantages because of players’ inability to hear the coaches or the referees. Also, hearing is linked to maintaining balance and is an important aspect of soccer because it is such a dynamically active sport.
For deaf players on hearing teams, communication with teammates is an obstacle. Communication is a vital part of socializing and without it, the feeling of being excluded is indeed strong. A way to overcome this barrier is to teach teammates simple signs to ease communicating on the field. Learning the sign language alphabet is a good way to start. As a coach making a deaf player feel a sense of belonging is challenging, but learning basic sign language could be beneficial to the coach and the player. An interpreter is always a good idea.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, DIFA is the sole, independent body directly representing deaf football worldwide. It offers know-how and experience in safeguarding and promoting the interests of deaf football. The deaf have their own competitions sanctioned by the Deaf International Football Association (DIFA) and there are Deaf Champions Leagues all over the world that compete against each other as in last year’s competition in Ankara, Turkey. The big event in 2013 will be the Deaflympics. The Deaflympics will offer competitive events in most sports, but football will be a major component. Watch for them July 26-August 3 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
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