Audiologists play a critical role in the identification, assessment and rehabilitation of patients with permanent childhood hearing loss. The professional roles and activities in audiology include clinical/education services (identification, assessment, planning, and treatment), prevention and advocacy, and education, administration and research.
Professional roles and responsibilities for audiologists include, but are not limited to:
- prevention, including monitoring of the acoustic environment and promotion of hearing wellness;
- identification, including early detection and screening program development, management, quality assessment and service coordination;
- comprehensive assessment, including behavioral, electroacoustic and/or electrophysiologic methods to assess hearing, auditory function, balance, and related systems;
- evaluation for candidacy for amplification and other sensory devices and assistive technology, and the fitting and maintenance of such devices for optimal use;
- rehabilitation, including the development and implementation of an appropriate audiologic rehabilitative management plan ;
- documentation, including interpretation of data, summarization of findings, recommendations and the development of an audiologic treatment/management plan;
- referral to other professions, agencies, and/or consumer organizations;
- counseling on the psychosocial aspects of hearing loss and other auditory dysfunction, and processes to enhance communication competence;
- advocacy for communication needs of all individuals that may include advocating for rights/funding of services for those with and without hearing loss, auditory, and/or vestibular disorders.;
- consultation with professionals of related and/or allied services when needed, including educators, public and private agencies, and governmental bodies regarding communication management, educational implications, accessibility, and legal implications of hearing loss and/or other auditory dysfunction;
- education, supervision, and administration for audiology graduate and other professional education programs; and
- research to increase the knowledge base, to develop new methods and programs, and to determine the efficacy, effectiveness, and efficiency of assessment and treatment paradigms, and to disseminate research findings to other professionals and the public.
See ASHA's Scope of Practice in Audiology for more information.
Speech Language Pathologists play a critical role in the identification, assessment and rehabilitation of patients with Permanent Childhood Hearing Loss. Professional roles and responsibilities for speech language pathologists include, but are not limited to:
- provision of clinical services including: prevention and prereferral; screening; assessment/evaluation; consultation; diagnosis; treatment, intervention, management; counseling; collaboration; documentation; and referral.
- prevention and advocacy activities related to human communication and swallowing including: promoting healthy lifestyle practices; presenting primary prevention information; early identification and early intervention services; advocacy for individuals and families; advising regulatory and legislative agencies; and advocacy;
- serving as educators, administrators, and researchers, including
- educating public regarding communication and swallowing; providing in-service training to families, caregivers and other professionals; educating, supervising and mentoring current and future speech-language pathologists; fostering public awareness of communication and swallowing disorders and their treatment; serving as expert witnesses; administering and managing clinical and academic programs; developing policies, operational procedures and professional standards; and conducting research related to communication sciences and disorders.
See ASHA's Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology for more information.