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About Special Interest Group 8, Audiology and Public Health


SIG 8 facilitates the highest level of knowledge of public health issues related to all audiology services and professional practice in the provision of care to the public.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to address public health issues related to all aspects of audiology through a transdisciplinary interprofessional collaborative practice (IPP) approach.


  • To create and maintain greater visibility and a higher profile for the area of audiology and public health within ASHA and allied fields.
  • To raise awareness and promote prevention as the surest means of reducing the individual and societal impact of hearing and balance disorders.
  • To serve as liaison with other professional organizations interested in public health.
  • To serve as the go-to resource within ASHA for audiology and public health issues and to provide subject matter expertise for media interviews as requested.
  • To disseminate timely information concerning research, clinical activities, meetings, and educational opportunities related to audiology and public health through the SIG 8 Online Community and SIG 8 Perspectives.

Focus Areas

  • Noise and hearing conservation
  • Education and outreach
  • Environmental studies and policy
  • Epidemiologic and sociologic considerations (e.g., aging)
  • Forensic audiology
  • Innovations in teleaudiology
  • Prevention and treatment of tinnitus
  • Access to care
  • Infection control
  • Public health issues related to audiology (e.g., cognitive decline, diabetes, and falls)

Affiliate Benefits and SIG Programs

Perspectives on Audiology and Public Health

Perspectives on Audiology and Public Health 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 Audiology and Public Health 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