The groundbreaking June 2 report, Hearing Health Care for Adults: Priorities for Improving Access and Affordability, issued by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), continues to generate a broad range of opinions from a variety of sources. Although these opinions vary on the final recommendations of the NAS report, it is the judgement of many key stakeholders that the report makes hearing loss a national priority.
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), who will hold their annual convention later this month in Washington DC, released a statement in strong support of the NAS report. In the press release, Margaret Wallhagen, Ph.D., chairperson of the HLAA Board of Trustees was quoted as saying:
“HLAA strongly supports the recommendations outlined in the Academies’ report. They clearly emphasize that the individual with hearing loss – the consumer – should be the primary focus in the provision of hearing health care. This directly aligns with the mission of HLAA… The findings in the report touch on almost every aspect of hearing health care, underscoring the fact that managing hearing loss not only requires far more than the technology of hearing aids, but also involves family and society as a whole.”
The Hearing Instrument Association (HIA) posted a statement on their website asserting their organization’s support in making hearing loss a national priority. However, HIA reiterated the importance of a hearing care professional’s involvement throughout the process of selecting, fitting and adjusting hearing aids. Other familiar industry organizations continued to weigh in on the NAS report.
The Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) offered support for the NAS recommendations, as ADA President Rita Chaiken said in ADA’s statement posted on their website, “On its face, ADA is extremely pleased with the findings put forward by the Committee, and we look forward to reviewing them in greater detail to make a more detailed assessment.”
As of June 7, other professional organizations (e.g, ASHA, IHS and AAA) had not posted a statement from their leadership about the NAS report on their respective websites.
Consumer Electronics Industry Supports Findings
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) posted a statement on their website offering full support of the NAS recommendations.
According to CTA President Gary Shapiro, “Overly cautious federal rules limit access to these affordable and readily-available devices – and the benefits they provide – for consumers who need them most. We greatly appreciate the Committee’s recommendation that there should be a category of OTC wearable hearing devices. We look forward to working with the FDA to open this market to provide new hope for those living with hearing loss.”
HHTM will continue to monitor and report the statements about the NAS recommendations of other professional and consumer groups; title image courtesy colorado.gov