Know the Facts...ASHA Supports the Profession of Audiology

The numbers tell the story...

  • More audiologists affiliate with ASHA than with any other professional organization.
  • In 2016, nearly 14,000 CCC-A audiologists affiliated with ASHA.
  • The retention rate for certified audiology members has remained above 95% for the past decade.
  • 623 doctor of audiology (AuD) degrees were awarded in academic year 2014–2015 (based on 96% of AuD programs reporting).
  • In 2016, there were more than 500 newly certified audiologists.

Audiology has significant representation in ASHA's governance.

  • The Audiology Advisory Council comprises 54 ASHA members (equivalent in number to its speech-language pathology counterpart) who are certified audiologists or hearing scientists. The AAC advises the ASHA Board of Directors on audiology issues.
  • Audiology has equal representation in the practice-specific areas of the ASHA Board of Directors.

ASHA advocates for audiology professional services.

Association volunteer leaders and ASHA National Office staff

  • represent and advocate for the interests of the audiology profession before federal regulators and legislators;
  • work with public and private payers for reimbursement for audiology services;
  • advocate for coverage of diagnostic, rehabilitative, and monitoring services provided by audiologists as part of a comprehensive Medicare benefit;
  • represent audiology in collaboration with the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) before the American Medical Association's Current Procedural Terminology Editorial Panel and Relative Value Update Committee; and
  • advocate with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for billing and coding issues to ensure adequate reimbursement rates for audiology services.

ASHA and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (ASHFoundation) support audiology science and research.

  • ASHA offers four peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Audiology and the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.
  • ASHA's National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders (N-CEP) has guided ASHA's commitment toward evidence-based practice.
  • ASHA's online Practice Portal combines evidence, expert opinion, and a wealth of resources to inform evidence-based clinical practice.
  • ASHA actively promotes research funding through its support of the ASHFoundation, which funds eight science-related programs.
  • In 2016, the ASHFoundation awarded a record funding total of $740,000 to 68 students, researchers, and clinicians in the communication sciences and disorders (CSD) discipline.
  • The ASHFoundation celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016. Since its establishment, the ASHFoundation has awarded nearly $9,000,000 to more than 2,000 individuals.
  • In the last decade, the ASHFoundation has awarded a total of $1,147,500 to audiologists and audiology students.

ASHA's Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) signifies quality.

  • The CCC is nationally recognized by state licensure boards, employers, and consumers.
  • The audiologists who maintain their certification have committed to ongoing continuing education (CE) and strong professional ethics.
  • ASHA certification allows audiologists to easily transfer their licensure from one state to another.
  • ASHA's Value of the CCCs campaign, which promotes the credential and features interviews with ASHA-certified members, has reached an audience of approximately 60 million since it launched in mid-2015.

ASHA is a leader in establishing and enforcing ethical standards for the professions.

  • On March 1, 2016, a revised ASHA Code of Ethics was effective and applies to all members of ASHA.
  • The ASHA Board of Ethics adjudicates an average of two audiology complaints per year that can lead to public or private professional disciplinary sanctions.
  • The 17-member Board comprises at least six audiologists, six speech-language pathologists, and two public members. 

The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) is committed to high academic standards for graduate education programs in audiology.

  • All 75 existing audiology entry-level clinical doctoral education programs are accredited or hold candidate status by the CAA.
  • To be CAA accredited, programs must agree (a) to meet current academic and clinical standards and (b) to be monitored and evaluated through periodic site visits.
  • Seven audiologists serve on the CAA (five academics and two practitioners).
  • The CAA accreditation site visitor pool includes approximately 25 audiologists.
  • The accreditation program began in 1965.
  • The CAA is the only accrediting agency for graduate education programs in audiology that is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education (since 1967).
  • Since 1964, the CAA has been continuously recognized as an accrediting agency for graduate education programs in audiology by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and its predecessors.

ASHA helps audiologists enhance their professional practice through high quality professional consultation and professional development.

  • More than 8,000 audiologists contact ASHA each year with questions related to ethics, scope of practice, practice management, patient education, and advocacy.
  • The ASHA National Office has a staff of 286, including eight ASHA-certified audiologists.
  • Of the 165,000 calls and e-mails ASHA received last year, 8,300 were audiology related. That is an average of 700 calls and e-mails each month from professionals and consumers.
  • Every October, ASHA offers the largest annual online educational conference for audiologists—providing a convenient, affordable way for audiologists to earn CE credits.
  • ASHA Professional Development also offers many other continuing education unit (CEU) courses in a variety of formats.
  • There are 540 ASHA-Approved CE Providers throughout the country.
  • In 2016, there were 6,823 opportunities to earn ASHA CEUs for audiology-specific courses.
  • The Award for Continuing Education (ACE) was earned by 540 audiologists in 2016.

ASHA is committed to seeking opportunities to engage and unite audiologists.

  • In October 2016, ASHA hosted the AuD Education Summit to review the current model of AuD education.
  • In 2016, the CAA and Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) concluded a practice analysis study, which was completed by almost 900 certified audiologists and stakeholders. This will advise both councils on the knowledge and skills necessary for student preparation and clinical practice in audiology.
  • In November 2015, ASHA provided public comments to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) about the importance of comprehensive audiologic service in hearing aid delivery and patient satisfaction.
  • In June 2015, ASHA, AAA, and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA) provided joint input to the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults, stressing the importance of audiologic rehabilitation for adults with hearing loss.
  • In September 2015, ASHA informed members of Congress that military personnel require nothing less than the services of a licensed, certified audiologist.
  • ASHA is developing an online registry that will collect audiology data for all patient populations with the option to link to electronic health records. Anticipated launch: fall 2018.
  • In October 2012, 66 members--including 27 audiologists--attended the  Changing Health Care Landscape Summit hosted by ASHA.
  • In February 2012, ASHA—along with the AAA, the ADA, the AAO-HNS, and the International Hearing Society—issued the Joint Statement on Consumer-Administered Hearing Tests and Direct-to-Consumer Hearing Aid Sales.
  • ASHA has agreements with three organizations—the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell), the  Educational Audiology Association (EAA), and the  National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA)—that provide reciprocal benefits in the areas of advocacy, exhibiting, and promotion.
  • Since January 2009, the ASHA Health Care Economics Committee (HCEC) has coordinated monthly conference calls with representatives of other audiology organizations.
  • In December 2008, ASHA convened 10 audiology organizations at its National Office to advocate for recognition of audiology service in the health care arena. This group is called the Audiology Quality Consortium (AQC).  

ASHA, the ASHFoundation, and the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) support audiology students.

  • Since 2008, more than 192 audiology students have received the Audiology/Hearing Science Research Travel Award (ARTA), supporting their travel to the ASHA Convention.
  • EdFind, ASHA's online search engine, helps prospective students find detailed information on all audiology graduate programs.
  • in 2016, 48 audiology and hearing science students and faculty participated in research mentoring programs designed to support the PhD pipeline and the CSD science base.
  • ASHA's 2016 Research Symposium at Convention provided an entire day of sessions focused on advances in auditory attention and the processing of complex sounds.
  • Audiology student leaders serve on ASHA committees (Committee on Leadership Cultivation, Advisory Council, and CFCC).
  • NSSLHA members can apply for the NSSLHA Scholarship administered by the ASHFoundation.
  • NSSLHA's Member Honors give undergraduate and graduate audiology students four opportunities to earn cash awards.
  • National NSSLHA membership means that students can save $225 off their initial ASHA membership dues. To be eligible, students must be a member during the final 2 years of school.

ASHA actively promotes public awareness of hearing health issues.

  • ASHA's Identify the Signs campaign has reached more than half a billion consumers.
  • Better Hearing and Speech Month (May) is a time for outreach about the professions and topics related to them. In recent years, such efforts have reached audiences in the millions.
  • ASHA's public information efforts reach millions of consumers each year, and almost one third of the visitors to ASHA's website are from the public.
  • ASHA collaborated on the development and implementation of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Make Listening Safe campaign. Launched in March 2015, this campaign raises global awareness of noise-induced hearing loss.

Interesting Facts About ASHA's History

  • The Association was founded in 1925.
  • The ASHA Code of Ethics was first introduced in 1935.
  • Past President Raymond Carhart was the first to use the term 'audiology' back in 1945.
  • "Hearing" was added to the Association's name in 1947.
  • Certification standards were established in 1952.
  • ASHA, the AAO-HNS, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) became the founding members of the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) in 1969.

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