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Audiology 2019: Cochlear Implants

September 11–23, 2019 | Online Conference

Session Descriptions

These pre-recorded lectures are on-demand and most last only an hour, so you can listen to them whenever time permits! Additional sessions will be added, so check back frequently.

The Basics of Sound Processor Programming
Teresa A. Zwolan, PhD, CCC-A

This session will give professionals a “behind-the-curtain” view of what goes on during a cochlear implant programming appointment to inform their work with children and adults who use these devices. This perspective should be particularly useful when it comes to the management of the hearing aid on the contralateral ear as well as the management of rehabilitative and therapeutic needs. The speaker will place special emphasis on how professionals can best communicate with each other to maximize the outcomes for individuals who use cochlear implants.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe the typical procedures performed in post-operative cochlear implant programming appointments in a manner that is easily understood by patients and families
  • summarize objective procedures that can be used to supplement behavioral procedures used in speech processor programming
  • list ways to determine if the program in a sound processor has been optimized
  • list the types of hearing aids that are currently able to bilaterally stream with contemporary cochlear implant systems

Advances in Cochlear Implant Technology 
Regina Presley, AuD, CCC-A, FAAA

This session will discuss the latest advances and updates in cochlear implant technology, including electrode array design, approaches to preservation of residual hearing, the variety of processors and compatible approaches to successful bimodal use, wireless technology, and the array of accessory options available for optimal listening.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • counsel candidates for cochlear implantation regarding current technology
  • counsel patients regarding the latest techniques for hearing preservation and how this works with a combination of acoustic and electric stimulation
  • recommend the bimodal fitting option for hearing aid patients utilizing a monaural cochlear implant
  • discuss accessory options that are compatibility with processors and appropriately selected hearing aids

Troubleshooting Cochlear Implant Sound Processors & Accessories 
Heidi Slager, AuD, CCC-A

Cochlear implant technology has evolved over time to include sophisticated features such as accessory-based and direct streaming, remote control devices and apps, bimodal compatibility, and more – and hearing health providers must become proficient with it all. This session will explore working with and efficiently troubleshooting these modern and increasingly common systems, such as remote microphones, DM/FM systems, and mobile devices to improve patient outcomes and increase clinic efficiency.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • list current sound processor options for each FDA-approved cochlear implant manufacturer
  • list basic troubleshooting tools and steps for sound processors and related accessories
  • describe the differences between DM/Roger, FM, and remote microphone assistive listening systems

Hearing Assistance Technology for Cochlear Implants
Erin C. Schafer, PhD, CCC-A

In general, adults and children who obtain cochlear implants achieve favorable speech recognition outcomes. However, the presence of background noise—even minimal amounts—can negatively impact speech understanding. This session will provide an overview of the hearing assistance technologies available for individuals with cochlear implants as well as evidence of the efficacy and effectiveness of the various types.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe 2–3 types of hearing assistance technology for patients with cochlear implants
  • summarize the evidence to support each type of technology
  • select the most appropriate hearing assistance technology for individual patients

Bilateral and Bimodal Hearing With Cochlear Implants 
William H. Shapiro, AuD, CCC-A

Many individuals with unilateral cochlear implants are good candidates for a second device. This session will discuss some of the roadblocks to sequential or simultaneous cochlear implantation and how to overcome them.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe a bimodal fitting protocol
  • describe the evaluation process 
  • describe an appropriate candidate for a sequential cochlear implant

From Clinic to Classroom: Helping School Personnel Support Students With Cochlear Implants 
Mary O’Leary Kane, MA, CCC-SLP

Many school-based personnel are unsure how to best support students with cochlear implants, and this session will explore how clinicians across settings (clinics and schools) and professions (audiologists, SLPs, and educators) can work together to help students reach their goals.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe realistic expectations re: listening development post-surgery
  • identify the five steps of auditory development
  • use tools to chart students’ progress

Auditory Neuropathy and Cochlear Implants 
Kelly Nichols Starr, MA, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT and Caroline Arnedt, AuD

This session will discuss listening and spoken language skills assessments for accurate diagnosis of auditory neuropathy in children as well as various treatment options and considerations, including cochlear implantation.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe how auditory neuropathy is diagnosed
  • describe the difference between intelligibility and audibility for listening and spoken language development
  • identify two red flags that show a child is not receiving enough auditory information

Key Considerations for Referring Children and Adults for Cochlear Implants
Sandra Prentiss, PhD, CCC-A

No national or international consensus exists on the delivery of care specific to pre-operative and post-operative audiologic cochlear implant evaluation and management. As such, decision-making regarding testing methods is largely made by the professional judgement of the clinician, which can bring with it discrepancies in testing that lead to inconsistent access to cochlear implants. This session will discuss these discrepancies and provide a set of guidelines clinicians can use to refer patients for a cochlear implant evaluation. The session will address the importance of a multidisciplinary approach when evaluating candidates for cochlear implants.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe the expansion in criteria for cochlear implants and when to refer
  • perform speech-in-noise testing measures as part of the diagnostic workup
  • interview the patient and/or parents to determine if a referral for cochlear implant is appropriate

Cochlear Implant Candidacy: Predictors of Success
Sarah A. Sydlowski, AuD, PhD

This session will discuss the current parameters for identifying cochlear implant candidates and provide an update on cochlear implantation that aims to clarify misconceptions that may influence referral patterns. The speaker will point out resources that clinicians can use to offer comprehensive, authoritative information on cochlear implantation candidacy to their patients.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe best practices for identifying candidates for cochlear implant evaluation as well as barriers or misconceptions that may be preventing accurate referrals
  • list the potential benefits of early and accurate identification of cochlear implant candidates, including those with residual hearing
  • identify appropriate candidates for cochlear implant evaluation

Case Studies in Cochlear Implants for Adults
Meredith Holcomb, AuD, CCC-A

This session will highlight case examples that describe the referral and management process for adults who may benefit from or who are currently using cochlear implants.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • apply the Minimum Speech Test Battery to patients with hearing aids to determine how they are functioning with their hearing aids
  • describe FDA and Medicare criteria for cochlear implantation in adults

Case Studies in Cochlear Implants for Children
Patricia L. Craun, AuD, CCC-A

This session will explore pediatric patients, including determining cochlear implant candidacy and managing this patient population after they receive a cochlear implant. The session will use case examples to help clinicians generalize how they may be able to provide services to pediatric patients in their clinic or practice.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • improve treatment plans for special needs populations
  • identify patients with asymmetrical hearing loss who may be considered for cochlear implants

Complex Cases in Children With Cochlear Implants
Kristin Uhler, PhD, CCC-A, and Kerry L. Moriarty, MA, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVEd

This session will discuss auditory development and setting realistic expectations for outcomes for children with cochlear implants in two special, complex populations: those who receive their implants at a very young age and those who may have a secondary disability. The presenters will provide a hierarchy of assessment tools that allow clinicians to assess children’s auditory skills as well as strategies clinicians can use to develop and discuss with parents realistic expectations for their children.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe the Pediatric Minimum Speech Test Battery and how to implement it based on language abilities of the child
  • describe at least two objective tools that can be used to analyze speech discrimination and quality of parent–child conversational turns
  • identify at least two resources to use with parents to set realistic listening and language expectations

Providing Telehealth Services to Individuals With Cochlear Implants
Allison Biever, AuD, CCC-A, and Nanette Thompson, MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT

This session will illustrate how telehealth/telepractice can enable professionals to make their services more easily accessible to clients with cochlear implants who are in poor health or live in remote areas where travel is a challenge.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • describe how to implement and deliver a telehealth option for individuals with cochlear implants
  • utilize telehealth to increase the quality of service for individuals with cochlear implants through team building, collaboration, and direct service

Shoot for the Moon: Measuring Outcomes for Cochlear Implant Recipients
Jace A. Wolfe, PhD, CCC-A

There is not much consensus or standardization in the practices professionals use to measure outcomes for cochlear implant (CI) recipients. This session will examine outcome measurement, providing clear and concise recommendations for assessment of outcomes in adult and pediatric CI recipients.

After completing this session, you will be able to:

  • identify the components involved in a comprehensive assessment of outcomes for an adult CI recipient
  • Identify the components involved in the assessment of pediatric CI recipients

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