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HearWHAC hearwhac at netins.net
Thu Jan 30 22:15:33 EST 1997


dancewater at aol.com wrote:
> I am of the opinion that ASHA is very valuable to audiologists and has
> done a great deal of work to promote and protect the profession of
> audiology.

To clarify my position, I have personally been a part of the hearing aid
industry for 28 years and my family has been in it for more than 50
years. I have witnessed many years of very stupid (IMO) feuding which
has hurt both the hearing impaired, ASHA and what used to be NHAS. NHAS
(now IHS) has just about gone down the toilet and from what I heard at
AAA last year in Salt Lake City, ASHA will also be flushed. But, getting
rid of ASHA and IHS is not going to solve any problems for the hearing
impaired.

Again, this is personal opinion from one who is in the process of
retiring and turning my practice over to the next generation who happen
to be three audiologists. I commend ASHA for its position on the AuD. I
recently read that they have contributed $50,000 to be used for AuD
distance learning programs. ADA is on the wrong track with what I call
their "Kracker Jacks Diploma," i.e., you pay $750 for a box of Kracker
Jacks, you open it up, and, surprise, there's an AuD diploma. The AuD
MUST be granted by an accredited educational institution to be worth
anything at all and it certainly can be done by distance learning.

ASHA has done a lot of damage promoting separate licensing boards for
dispensing audiologists and traditional hearing aid dealers. ALL
dispensing should come under ONE licensing board. Why? Because once a
board is established in a state, it is next to impossible to eliminate
it. The politicians won't do that! (Politicians have to get reelected.)
So, if you establish a separate board to license audiologist dispensers
and another board to license traditional hearing aid dealers, you are
ALWAYS going to have dispensing audiologists and traditional hearing aid
dealers in your state - ALWAYS. OTOH, if both groups are licensed
together - and it has to be the hearing aid dealer licensing board -
then it is very easy to set up a plan to do what I have done with my
practice, slowly turn it over to the audiologists! DON’T SET UP A
SEPARATE LICENSING BOARD FOR AUDIOLOGIST DISPENSERS IN YOUR STATE! YOU
WILL REGRET IT LATER ON!

ASHA did a lot of damage to the practice of audiology in 1975 and again
in 1993 (this time with AAA, ADA, etc.) trying to influence the FDA.
Sorry, you aren't going to legislate traditional hearing aid dealers out
of business. They belong to the same Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Lions
Clubs, churches, synagogues, etc. that senators, representatives and
other politicians belong to. And the traditional hearing aid dealers
have another group of friends. I call them "gods." (Don't ENT's see
themselves as "god"?) Back in the 1970's we learned that we had to go
the Iowa Medical Society and get their blessing BEFORE we would ever be
able to get anything passed. (Incidentally, the steps for making the AuD
a reality are 1, you have to go to all your opponents and strike a deal
and 2, you have to get the laws changed in your state to allow the use
of the term, "doctor.")

All in all, ASHA has served its time. Let it go! Don't cry! It's time
audiology becomes a profession on its own merits - and the sooner the
divorce is finalized, the sooner audiology can go on with its own life.
Audiologists don't need the speechies and the speechies don't need
audiologists. In fact, both groups would be a lot better off without the
other. And audiology needs to get itself out of the speech departments
of the universities and take on its own life.

That's it!

Paul Woodard ;-)
Des Moines IA



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