About Special Interest Group 9, Hearing and Hearing Disorders in Childhood

Mission Statement

Special Interest Group 9 has as its main focus all areas related to childhood hearing. The mission is to provide a unified voice and advocacy for childhood hearing issues within ASHA. Other functions of the SIG are to permit interaction between members who share the same concerns; to provide for study sections within the SIG, with members of other SIGs, and with members of allied health groups; to provide a forum for demonstration and sharing of new technologies, research, clinical developments, and treatment outcomes; and to provide a vehicle for input into education and training issues related to hearing in childhood.

Study Topics

This Special Interest Group provides you with an opportunity for learning, communication, exchange of information and ideas and a unified voice within ASHA. Areas for study, discussion, and review include, but are not limited to:

  • Normal/abnormal auditory development
  • Nature and etiologies of hearing loss in children, including the study of syndromes and genetics
  • Prevention, identification, and diagnosis of hearing loss in infants and children, including high risk hearing screening programs
  • Medical management including middle-ear pathology and treatment
  • Outcomes measures
  • Educational management including aural habilitation, facilitation of speech, language and cognition, and educational methodologies and issues
  • Amplification including selection, evaluation and training for hearing aids, implantable aids, FM systems, cochlear implants, and assistive listening systems
  • Family and parenting issues in deaf education and Deaf culture

Affiliate Benefits and SIG Programs

Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups

Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups is the SIG's online publication. SIG 9's continuously-built issue contributes 2 self-study CE activities a year.

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 hearing and hearing disorders in childhood:

  • SIG 9 has an online community where affiliates can discuss topics related to hearing and hearing disorders in childhood.
  • SIG 9 hold an annual affiliate meeting at the ASHA Convention.

Representation Within ASHA

  • The SIG 9 Coordinator represents the Special Interest Group on Childhood Hearing 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 Members

  • 2015–2017 Coordinator: Aparna Rao, Arizona State University
  • 2017–2018 Associate Coordinator: James J. Mahshie, George Washington University
  • 2016–2018 Perspectives Editor: Cynthia McCormick Richburg, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • 2015–2017 Professional Development Manager: Kristina M. Blaiser, Idaho State University
  • 2017–2019 Member-At-Large: Melissa Ferrello, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
  • 2017–2019 Member-At-Large: Donna F Smiley, Arkansas Children''s Hospital
  • Ex Officio: Anne L. Oyler, Associate Director, Audiology Professional Practices, ASHA

Additional SIG Volunteers

2017 Continuing Education (CE) Content Manager: Kathryn L. Beauchaine, Boys Town National Research Hospital

Editorial Review Committee

  • Cynthia McCormick Richburg, Editor
  • Sophie E. Ambrose
  • Mary Velvet Buehler
  • William M. Douglas
  • Gayla Hutsell Guignard
  • Gale B. Rice
  • Jeffrey L. Simmons
  • Kristina M. Blaiser, Professional Development Manager
  • Kathryn L. Beauchaine, CE Content Manager
  • Anne L. Oyler, Ex Officio

Professional Development Committee

  • Kristina M. Blaiser, Professional Development Manager
  • Kathryn L. Beauchaine, CE Content Manager
  • Sophie E. Ambrose
  • Katie R. Brennan
  • Nicole Burkhardt
  • Lisa R. Cannon
  • Elizabeth S. Preston
  • Nanette Thompson
  • Cynthia McCormick Richburg, Editor
  • Anne L. Oyler, Ex Officio

Staff Liaison for Communications

Frank Wisswell, Production Editor, ASHA

Liaisons to the ASHA Board of Directors

  • Robert C. Fifer, 2016–2018 Vice President for Audiology Practice
  • Sandra Laing Gillam, 2015–2017 Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Practice

ASHA Corporate Partners