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About Special Interest Group 8, Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance

Mission Statement

Our mission is to address public health issues related to hearing and balance through a transdisciplinary approach.

Focus Areas

  • Noise and hearing conservation
  • Acoustic measurement and standards
  • Environmental studies and policy
  • Legislation pertaining to public, educational, and occupational accessibility and accommodations for those with hearing and balance problems
  • Epidemiologic and sociologic considerations (e.g., aging)
  • Forensic audiology
  • Emergent issues related to high risk variables including ototoxins, infectious disease, acoustic (neuro-otologic) trauma, and domestic abuse/violence.
  • Innovations in teleaudiology

Affiliate Benefits and SIG Programs

Perspectives on Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance

Perspectives on Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance is the SIG's online publication. Perspectives is published annually in November. SIG 8's Perspectives issues are offered for self-study to earn CEUs. Perspectives on Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance features:

  • News of SIG activities
  • The latest on research and clinical topics
  • Coverage of current professional, practice, and legislative and regulatory issues

Online Chats

SIGs sponsor live online chats. These events feature topic experts who answer questions from the audience. All ASHA and NSSLHA members may attend. Live online chats are not eligible for CEUs. Archived chats can be accessed online.

Continuing Education

  • The SIG sponsors a Short Course and a seminar at the annual ASHA Convention.
  • Perspectives contains continuing education articles. Readers may earn ASHA continuing education credit by completing self-study questions related to those articles. SIG affiliates may complete the self-study for a $5 processing fee.
  • Short Course: SIG affiliates are eligible for a 50% discount on select Short Courses at the ASHA Convention.


SIG affiliates have the opportunity to identify others with interest in public health issues related to hearing and balance:

  • SIG 8 has an online community where affiliates can discuss topics related to public health issues related to hearing and balance.
  • SIG 8 hold an annual affiliate meeting at the ASHA Convention.

Representation Within ASHA

  • The SIG 8 Coordinator represents the Special Interest Group on Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance within the ASHA Board of Special Interest Group Coordinators.
  • The Coordinating Committee responds to ASHA requests for input regarding policy, guidelines, committees, and other issues.
  • Affiliates have the opportunity to provide input to the SIG leadership and ASHA.

Coordinating Committee


SIG Coordinator: Christa Themann, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Associate Coordinator: Roberta Aungst, audiology consultant, Cape May, New Jersey
Perspectives Editor: Jeffery B. Larsen, Utah State University
Professional Development Manager: Tina Penman, Portland VA Center
Vickie L. Tuten, U.S. Army
Richard Tyler, University of Iowa
Ex Officio: Pamela Mason, Director, Audiology Professional Practices, ASHA

Additional SIG Volunteers

Editorial Review Board

Staff Liaison for Communications

Victoria Davis, Production Editor, ASHA

Board Liaisons

Donna Fisher Smiley, Vice President for Audiology Practice
Sandra Laing Gillam, Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Practice

ASHA Corporate Partners