Audiology is a healthcare science that studies balance and hearing and related damage and disorders. Professionals use different diagnostic strategies and tools such as electrophysiologic tests, videonystagmography, hearing tests, and others.
Studying Audiology in Canada
Five Canadian universities offer a Master’s Degree in Audiology, including Dalhousie University, University of Ottawa, University of Western Ontario, Université de Montréal, and University of British Columbia. Some programs are in French only. Students enrolled in an audiology program learn more about the fundamentals of speech, language and speech acquisition, hearing measurement and diagnostic tools, and a lot more. The curriculum includes a selection of courses such as pediatric audiology, implantable technologies, hearing disorders, clinical methods, speech language pathology, etc. Graduates have plenty of choice when it comes to career options and work with different age groups, including newborns, toddlers, youth, centenarians, etc. Audiologists work in settings such as universities, publicly-funded healthcare facilities, and private practices. Audiologists typically counsel patients, offer help through hearing rehabilitation programs, prescribe medications, and fit hearing aids. They also develop hearing conservation programs to help patients avoid hearing loss. Finally, audiologists specialize in hearing screening for newborns and assess patients with disorders.
Audiology Associations in Canada
There are several professional associations in Canada, among which Speech – Language & Audiology Canada and the Canadian Academy of Audiology. The former is a member association with a focus on speech and language pathology. Core values of the association include being responsive, member-driven, visionary, inclusive, evidence-based, and accountable. Different awards are awarded each year, including the Consumer Advocacy Award, Excellence in Applied Research Reward, Lifetime Achievement Award, and many others. The Canadian Academy of Audiology is a national association that works to support healthcare professionals through research, education, and advocacy. The academy offers educational resources such as e-books, videos, guidelines, reports, and others. What is more, the association offers bursaries and grants such as the student travel bursary and clinical research grant. CAA also organizes different events, including awareness campaigns, webinars, and the CAA Conference. Special interest groups work to offer peer support and mentorship and to discuss advanced technologies, research, and best practices. Such groups are the Canadian Coalition for Adult Hearing Health, the Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force, and others. Focus areas include advocacy, communication, rehabilitation, testing, etc. Other focus areas are hearing assistance aids and technologies, communication strategies, and prevention. Special interest groups offer free educational resources such as podcasts, conferences, handouts, and research studies.
The Canadian Academy of Audiology also offers awards and honors such as the Richard Seewald Career Award, Honours of the Academy, and the William Cole Industry Award, among others. Finally, the association also offers free marketing resources and tools and webinars on different topics. Webinars explore topics such as vestibular management and assessment, continuing education, hearing health and technologies, and others.
The Canadian Hearing Society offers services to patients with hearing problems, including aural rehabilitation, hearing healthcare and tests, and language and speech programs targeting both adults and children. Programs for adults focus on writing and reading, voice and pronunciation, and English for new immigrants with hearing loss. Programs for children are designed to help improve communication, language, and speech skills through play. Healthcare professionals work with families and children to improve their language and communications skills with the help of the American Sign Language.