Educational Audiology

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Overview of Training

In the United Kingdom, a separate and bespoke postgraduate degree for Educational Audiologists, possibly unique in the world, is offered. This column is largely information provided about this UK training route. It is a two year part-time in-depth training covering a broad syllabus, which equips an Educational Audiologist to take on the leading role of partnering the local service education provision with health, to support children and their families, whilst accessing the most appropriate use of technology to improve access and outcomes, as every child or young person faces a unique set of personal experiences and different listening environments. The training of an Educational Audiologist makes them ideally placed to consider how the audiological information from the clinic setting impacts on everyday life and vice versa and how the results are interpreted into guidance for support and access to the most appropriate use of technology to promote well being and aspirational outcomes.  This video explains both an overview of the role and of the training course in the UK.

Mary Hare Courses partnered to the University of Hertfordshire is the only place in Europe, known to the authors at the time of writing, where it is possible to train to become a professionally registered Educational Audiologist in a bespoke and separate degree programme, as opposed to part of a clinical programme. Mary Hare is a school for deaf children in Newbury, Berkshire and runs a dedicated courses department in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire.

In the United States of AmericaBeckrow and Nerbonne (2002) surveyed two Educational Audiologists about their feelings of competence in key areas at graduation from their training programmes.  While they gave strong ratings for areas closely aligned to mainstream audiology, practice in a school setting had much lower ratings, suggesting the need for changes in preparation of audiologists for educational work.  In 2005, English and Vargo acknowledged how little was known about education audiology graduate training; and thus set out to summarise learning objectives from 60 USA AuD (Doctor of Audiology) courses.  Half the programs were found to require incorporation of educational audiology content, and had consistency of student outcomes. While Marlatt (2014) bemoaned what seem to him to be a movement in education of the deaf toward a clinical discipline with Educational Audiologists and other clinicians outweighing input and influence of teachers of the deaf.  In that same year DeConde Johnson et al (2014) looked at then-current policy amidst technological advancements and the ‘unique audiological contributions of school-based audiologists’  exploring strategies for transition.