May 1, 2013 Departments

SIG Spotlight: 8

When was SIG 8 (Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance) founded?

Special Interest Group 8 (then Special Interest Division 8) was one of the inaugural SIGs, which ASHA created in 1988.

How many affiliates does SIG 8 have?

At press time, we have 110 affiliates.

Why should ASHA members affiliate with SIG 8?

SIG 8 provides a dynamic venue for examining hearing and balance disorders in clinical practice, education and research. SIG affiliates benefit from SIG-sponsored programs, publications, online chats, continuing education and networking. Watch a video of SIG 8 Coordinator Roberta Aungst, talking about why she affiliates with SIG 8.

How does SIG 8 affect the membership at large?

Hearing and balance problems are worldwide public health issues. Our mission is to address public health issues related to hearing and balance using a transdisciplinary approach. Originally focused on hearing conservation and occupational audiology, the new SIG 8 incorporates those topics, but also features a more global focus on public health issues in hearing and balance. Preventing falls is the focus for 2013.

The recently structured SIG 8 focus areas include: noise and hearing preservation; acoustic measurement and standards; diagnostic and best practices related to hearing loss, tinnitus and vestibular/balance problems; 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 (for example, aging); forensic audiology; emergent issues related to high-risk variables, including ototoxins, infectious disease, acoustic (neuro-otologic) trauma and domestic abuse/violence; and innovations in telepractice.

What are two benefits of affiliating with SIG 8 that everyone should know about?

SIG 8 provides opportunities for continuing education by sponsoring a short course and a seminar jointly with the other audiology-related SIGs (6, 7, 8, 9) at the annual ASHA convention. SIG affiliates are eligible for a 50 percent discount on select short courses.

SIG 8 is also sponsoring a free, live chat—a panel discussion, Hearing Health Care Delivery Practice Considerations for Dispensing Audiologists—on May 21, 2013. We encourage all ASHA and NSSLHA audiology members to attend. Live online chats feature topic experts who answer questions from the audience.

Which of your recent Perspectives articles is a must-read for CSD professionals and why?

Perspectives on Public Health Issues Related to Hearing and Balance is the SIG's online publication, published each November. SIG 8's Perspectives issues are offered for self-study to earn CEUs. Readers may earn ASHA continuing education credit by completing self-study questions related to those articles ($5 processing fee).

Two articles in the December 2012 issue are of great interest to CSD professionals. "Promoting Hearing Loss Prevention in Audiology Practice," by David C. Byrne, Christa L. Themann, Deanna K. Meinke, Thais C. Morata and Mark R. Stephenson, highlights real-world examples of what audiologists can do to make hearing loss prevention a part of practice. "For Those About to Rock," by Jennifer Tufts, covers essential strategies to avoid noise and hearing loss, and is written in easily accessible language to better help clinicians convey this information to clients.


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