Indianapolis, Indiana will host over 6,000 audiologists, hearing health-care providers, and audiology students during AudiologyNOW!, the annual conference of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), held from April 5-8, 2017, at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium. During the four days of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to gather with colleagues for networking, fun, and to view and learn new innovations in hearing health care.

The annual “Academy Research Conference (ARC), Pediatrics: Advancements in Assessment and Rehabilitation,” will kick off the first day at 8:30 am at the JW Marriott. This year’s ARC will examine the significant improvements made over the last decade as a result of an enhanced understanding of developmental and biological mechanisms, and technological advances in identifying, diagnosing, and treating infants and children with hearing loss. Leading researchers, headed by Anne Marie Tharpe, PhD, chair of this year’s ARC, will present their latest findings.

Also on the first day, an orientation for first-time attendees titled “Making the Most of Your Conference Experience” will give new attendees an overview of what to expect from the convention, as well as an opportunity to meet other attendees. The day ends with the opening of the exhibit hall to host “Celebrate Audiology,” the opening-night party (sponsored in part by Hamilton CapTel). Attendees will meet with colleagues and industry representatives while they enjoy drinks and food on the exhibit floor. The exhibit hall will reportedly feature at least 170 exhibitors, highlighting their latest research and technology, new products, and services in hearing health care, as well as quick solutions and industry updates educational sessions. Various special events, including a 5K Run/Walk (sponsored in part by Oticon) coffee meetups on Thursday, and morning yoga on Friday, are available to attendees.

On Thursday, April 6, the annual General Assembly will be held at a new time, 8:00 am, and will feature Shelly Chadha, MBBS, MS, PhD. Chadha is medical officer at the World Health Organization (WHO) Programme for Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss. She was trained as an otolaryngologist at the University of Delhi, India, and took doctoral studies in public health there as well. Prior to joining WHO in 2011, she was a professor of otolaryngology at the Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, India.  Chadha has long-term experience in community ear and hearing care, planning and policy development for hearing care, and oversees WHO’s work on prevention of deafness and hearing loss, including advocacy for prioritization of hearing care. Her address is entitled “Global Action for Hearing Loss: Making Hearing Care Accessible to All.” This year, attendees of the General Assembly will be eligible to earn CEUs.

Also on Thursday morning, from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m., Curtis Alcock, hearing care professional and director of Audify will give a lecture entitled “The Science of Being Repulsive (and How to Avoid It).” Alcock’s address will look at the question of why most people avoid hearing care rather than approach it from the perspective of the social sciences, and, namely, how attitudes are formed and shaped. Attendees will learn the science behind what repulses people, as well as the simple changes each can make to avoid doing so.

Curtis Alcock

Curtis Alcock

The American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF) will present three different lectures during AudiologyNOW!. On Wednesday, the Foundation will present the Improving Patient Care through Innovation in Workplace Management Lecture from 2:30 to 4:00 pm. The lecture, entitled “Innovation in Hearing and Balance Care: A Pathway to Transforming Outcomes,” will be presented by Barbara Balik, EdD, principal of Common Fire Healthcare Consulting. Balik’s lecture will tap into the creativity and talent that audiologists possess to prompt dramatic system leadership through innovative partnerships with patients, families, community members, and other healthcare professionals, giving audiologists an unprecedented opportunity to transform their practice and the healthcare system into one that assures better care, better health, and lower costs while offering joy in work for all team members. The lecture is sponsored in part by Phonak, LLC.

Two more AAAF lectures will be held on Friday. The Marion Downs Lecture in Pediatric Audiology will be held Friday morning, from 9:45 to 11:15 am features Anu Sharma, PhD, professor and chair in the Department of Speech Language and Hearing and a Fellow at the Institute for Cognitive Science and Center for Neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Sharma’s address, “Brain Changes in Hearing Loss,” looks at brain plasticity, and how it provides a framework upon which rehabilitation and therapy initiatives for the clinical populations needing hearing aids or cochlear implants should be based. The Marion Downs lecture is sponsored in part by The Oticon Foundation. Friday afternoon, the Foundation will hold its second lecture, the Topics in Tinnitus lecture series, featuring James Henry, PhD, audiologist at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR), whose lecture is entitled “Evidence-Based Tinnitus Management—Inching Toward a Standard of Practice.” The tinnitus lecture series is sponsored in part by Widex.

Anu Sharma

Anu Sharma

Friday ends with “A Night at the Ballpark,” where attendees will enjoy a special pre-game “all you care to eat and drink” picnic, followed by a baseball game at Victory Field, featuring the Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball team.

The final day of the convention ends with another annual event, the Student Academy of Audiology Conference, from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Session topics for student audiologists include “Maximizing Outcomes for Children Who Are Hard of Hearing,” “Brain Changes in Hearing Loss,” “Diary of a Dizzy Kid: Pediatric Vestibular Disorders, Seeing Dizziness and Fear of Falling as a Pyramid,” “You Hear What? Why Are You in My Office,” and “Customizing Hearing Health Care.” The SAA Conference is sponsored in part by Starkey Hearing Technologies.

Also on Saturday, five Learning Labs, offering in-depth, cutting-edge information in “hot” topic areas designed to be interactive and affording opportunities for hands-on exercises with appropriate clinical practices, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

AudiologyNOW! will also offer continuing educational options for 2017, including featured sessions, learning modules, research podiums, and exhibitor courses starting Wednesday through Saturday afternoon. Attendees will be able to earn up to a total of 3.65 CEUs. Online learning will also be available. Over 200 clinical, research, and teaching posters will be on display from Wednesday through Saturday.

For more information on educational sessions, events, and fun activities, visit and plan your time at the convention with the Conference Planner.

Source: American Academy of Audiology