ASHA and the Educational Audiology Association (EAA) will be collaborating more closely as the result of a joint agreement that will enhance the ability of the two organizations to work together on shared goals.
EAA is an international organization for audiologists and related professionals (including speech-language pathologists and teachers of students with hearing impairment) who deliver hearing services to children and adolescents, particularly those in educational settings.
ASHA shares many EAA areas of focus, including identification and determination of hearing loss in children and adolescents; provision of aural (re)habilitative intervention for children and adolescents; implementation of hearing conservation programs in schools; provision of and/or referral to counseling related to hearing loss and hearing difficulties for children, parents, and teachers; and determination of appropriate amplification in an educational setting.
The path to collaboration began when ASHA asked EAA to sponsor an educational session at the 2008 Schools Conference, and the two organizations recognized the advantages of working together. EAA now holds its biennial summer workshop in conjunction with the schools conference. The common interests between EAA and ASHA's audiology and school divisions became clear, leading to further dialogue and the affiliation agreement.
Under the agreement:
- EAA may exhibit at ASHA's national Convention and ASHA may exhibit at EAA's national convention (scheduled for July 17–19 in Nashville).
- EAA is working with ASHA on public outreach and education campaigns, such as ASHA's "Listen to Your Buds" campaign, a national effort designed to increase school-age children's awareness of hearing conservation. The EAA website has a link to the "Buds" website.
- EAA and ASHA will share web links, along with electronic alerts directed to Congress. EAA, for example, has several position and advocacy materials on educationally related, school-based issues. The EAA member legislative updates often come from ASHA's breaking news reports.
The consolidated efforts on common interests are beneficial to each association, noted Tena McNamara, EAA president. "Members profit from improved communication, pooled resources, and an increased knowledge base," she said. "By collaborating with related associations such as ASHA, we are better equipped to accomplish this mission."
Arlene Pietranton, ASHA executive director, noted that "collaborations between organizations link togther a greater number of professionals from comparable backgrounds who can engage in larger-scale advocacy for common purposes."
For more information, visit the EAA's website.