WARRENVILLE, IL–Erin C. Schafer, PhD, a leading expert on the use of FM systems, is the 2013 recipient of Phonak LLC’s Cheryl DeConde Johnson Award for outstanding achievement in educational and pediatric audiology. Schafer is an associate professor in speech and hearing sciences at the University of North Texas.
This annual award honors an audiologist working in a school program or in pediatric research in the U.S. whose work has significantly improved the level of service provided to hard-of-hearing children. Started by Phonak in 2007, it is named for its first recipient. Cheryl DeConde Johnson, EdD, worked for her many years as an educational audiologist and deaf educator, including 15 years directing audiology and deaf education programs for Colorado.
Schafer has been in the forefront of research on appropriate FM settings, evaluation of FM benefit, and FM orientation, particularly in conjunction with cochlear implants. She has explored other topics related to FM, such as evaluating its benefit for children on the autism spectrum with normal hearing. She has written several peer-reviewed publications and is editor of the Journal of Educational Audiology.
In nominating Erin Schafer for the award, Jace A. Wolfe, PhD, also a prominent pediatric audiologist describer her as “a tireless worker who has dedicated her life to improving the well-being of children with hearing loss.” Wolfe, director of audiology at Hearts for Hearing and coordinator of the Audiology Clinical Practicum at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, added, “She is an innovative researcher who has positively changed educational audiology services around the world.”
Schafer holds her MS and PhD in audiology from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is past president of the Scott Haug Audiology Foundation.