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

The numbers tell the story...

  • In 2017, more than 14,100 CCC-A audiologists affiliated with ASHA.
  • The retention rate for certified audiology members has remained above 95% for the past decade.
  • 697 doctor of audiology (AuD) degrees were awarded in academic year 2015–2016 (based on 96% of AuD programs reporting).
  • In 2017, there were 589 newly certified audiologists including 49 who reinstated after dropping their certification.
  • In 2017, over 96% of audiologists renewed their certification with ASHA. 

Audiology has significant representation in ASHA's governance.  

  • The Audiology Advisory Council (AAC) 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.

ASHA is a strong advocate for audiologists. Association volunteer leaders and ASHA National Office staff

  • build strategic relationships with influential lawmakers and policymakers to advance the interests of the audiology profession in Washington and state capitals across the country; 
  • aggressively seek fair and equitable reimbursement for audiology services by public and private payers;
  • advocate for coverage of diagnostic, rehabilitative, and monitoring services provided by audiologists as part of a comprehensive Medicare benefit; and
  • represent audiology before the American Medical Association’s Current Procedural Terminology Editorial Panel and Relative Value Update Committee.

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 supports early-career scientists through several research education and mentoring programs, award programs, and the Research Symposium on Hearing at the ASHA Convention.
  • ASHA actively promotes research funding through its support of the ASHFoundation, which funds nine science-related programs. Among these, new in 2018, the ASHFoundation is offering the Researcher-Practitioner Collaboration Grant (up to four $35,000 grants) to support collaborative studies that will increase knowledge to improve services for individuals with communication disorders. To learn more about ASHFoundation funding opportunities, visit their website.
  • Since its inception, the ASHFoundation has awarded $9.2 million to more than 2,100 innovators to test bold ideas and pursue new breakthroughs to change people’s lives. In 2017 alone, 68 students, researchers, and professionals received $637,000, collectively, in funding.
  • In the last decade, the ASHFoundation has awarded a total of $1,239,500 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 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 75 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 went into effect. The Code applies to all ASHA members. ASHA’s Board of Ethics provides guidance about the Code through its Issues in Ethics statements, such as Audiology Assistants (2017). 
  • In 2017, the ASHA Board of Ethics adjudicated five complaints against audiologists that may result in 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 quality and is dedicated to graduate education programs’ success in preparing future audiologists.

  • All 76 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 28 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.

  • The ASHA National Office has a staff of 289, including seven ASHA-certified audiologists.
  • Of the 116,628 calls and e-mails that ASHA received last year, 6,000 were audiology related. That is an average of 500 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 continuing education (CE) credit.
  • ASHA Professional Development also offers many other ASHA CE courses that are available for ASHA continuing education units (CEUs) in a variety of formats, including the new Carhart series of Audiology webinars.
  • There are 540 ASHA-Approved CE Providers throughout the country.
  • In 2017, there were 7,067 opportunities to earn ASHA CEUs for audiology-specific courses.
  • The Award for Continuing Education (ACE) was earned by 547 audiologists in 2017.

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 2017, six working groups met regularly to address the priorities identified during the Summit. Final recommendations are expected by the end of 2018.
  • In 2016, the CAA and the 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, the American Academy of Audiology (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.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Reauthorization Act of 2017 requires the FDA to develop regulations for over the counter (OTC) hearing aids. ASHA is developing materials to assist members in providing services to patients who may have initially selected a self-treatment option.
  • In September 2015, ASHA informed members of Congress that military personnel require nothing less than the services of a licensed, certified audiologist.
  • In October 2012, 66 members—including 27 audiologists—attended the  Changing Health Care Landscape Summit hosted by ASHA.
  • 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), the Hearing Loss Association of America, 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, 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 communication sciences and disorders (CSD) science base.
  • ASHA's 2016 Research Symposium at the ASHA 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).
  • Every year, the ASHFoundation offers a number of Graduate Student Scholarships, New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarships, and Student Research Grants in Audiology to support audiology and hearing science students.
  • Audiology students can take advantage of more than 50 opportunities to serve as leaders of NSSLHA—including the NSSLHA president role. In addition, select student leaders serve on key ASHA committees, ensuring that an audiology student perspective is heard. 
  • Students who are undergraduates or pursuing an AuD can earn scholarships through NSSLHA and the ASHFoundation.
  • AuD students who are NSSLHA members during their final 2 years of school can save $225 off their initial ASHA membership dues.

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 2017, such efforts reached an audience of more than 160 million—4 times the size of just a few years ago. ASHA conducted a Noisy Environments Poll and published a report summary with the results [PDF].
  • 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's social media campaign that raised awareness of World Hearing Hearing Day (March 3) reach an audience of more than 80 million.
  • ASHA continues to collaborate with the World Health Organization (WHO) on its Make Listening Safe campaign. Launched in March 2015, this campaign raises global awareness of noise-induced hearing loss.

Here are some 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.
  • The term "Hearing" was added to the Association's name in 1947.
  • Certification standards were established in 1952.
  • ASHA, the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (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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