On January 30, 1988, 32 audiologists met in Houston to discuss the formation of a national association of audiologists. The association would become an essential part of audiologists’ lives. Together, the members would strive to advance the science and practice of audiology, and to achieve the recognition of the public as experts in hearing and balance. Twenty years later, the American Academy of Audiology’s AudiologyNOW! 2008 in the “Queen City” of Charlotte, NC, celebrates its achievements as the largest annual gathering of audiologists in the world.

According to this year’s Program Chair, Theresa Walden, PhD, the convention committee has crafted an excellent selection of Learning Labs, Featured Sessions, Learning Modules, Focus and Discussion Groups, Research Podiums and Posters, and Exhibitor Courses. Key to the educational program is AudiologyNOW!’s use of “Super Tracks,” or mini-conferences within specific topic areas, weaved throughout the 4-day convention:

  • Practice Management—including but not limited to coding and reimbursement, successful marketing, Medicare and Medicaid issues, BEST practice management topics, advocacy, state leadership, and purchasing or selling a practice.
  • Geriatrics—including but not limited to the study of aging, diagnostic techniques and procedures, prevention of hearing loss, early intervention, effective treatment options (including hearing aids, implantables, hearing assistive technology), advocacy issues, research, counseling and (re)training programs as part of treatment, and other issues of particular interest to our aging patients.
  • Vestibular—including but not limited to state-of-the-art evaluation and diagnosis; vestibular rehabilitation; effective interdisciplinary programs; medical, pharmalogical, and psychological influences; and clinical and basic science research in all aspects of vestibular function.
  • Pediatrics—including but not limited to hearing loss prevention, newborn screening and diagnostic follow-up, diagnostics, treatment options (hearing aids, implantables), the use of hearing assistive technology, early intervention, research, genetics, and advocacy issues.
  • Implantables—including but not limited to effective candidacy evaluations, diagnostics, interdisciplinary programmatic issues, research into new techniques and devices, clinical trials, counseling, and short- and long-term care.

The conference will include unique festivities celebrating the 20th anniversary of AAA, including a preconvention bicycle tour of scenic North Carolina; 20th Anniversary “Hear to Play” Golf Tournament; special Celebrate Audiology event on Thursday at the world’s largest outdoor recreation center, the US National Whitewater Center; and, of course, the annual Trivia Bowl.

For more information, visit the audiologynow.org and look for the special HR AAA Convention Walking Tour in next month’s edition of  The Hearing Review.