|By Bonnie O’Leary, 6/20/11
ASHA is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 145,000 members and affiliates in the United States and internationally who are speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Whew! If, like me, you visited their website over the years, you might have found yourself frustrated not to be able to get to the “good” stuff unless you were a member of one of these professions. But in my conversation with Paul Farrell, who is ASHA’s Associate Director, Audiology Professional Practices, I learned that there are now new resources on the ASHA website for consumers.
I visited the website at www.asha.org and on the left of the home page I found information for “the public”. This site has been revamped with a focus on improving the health literacy of ASHA’s web pages. There is also a consumer newsletter available on their website, as well as a search feature for audiologists. In addition, there is an Audiology Information Series which covers topics such as Tinnitus; Type, Degree, and Configuration of Hearing Loss; Cochlear Implants; Children and Hearing Aids; Dizziness and Balance; Noise; Ototoxic Medications; Adult Audiologic/Aural Rehabilitation, and many others.
Paul emphasized that ASHA is supporting the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act, which would provide assistance to those most in need of hearing aids but are unable to afford them. It targets individuals who are retired or approaching retirement (55+), and families of children with hearing loss. While it does not cover the full cost of hearing aids, it is meant to provide a measure of financial assistance to those who are most in need.
ASHA was founded in 1925, and its headquarters is currently in Rockville, MD. If you have questions for Paul, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.