Associations

 AG Bell, Auditory-Verbal International Unite, Launch Academy
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell), Washington, DC, recently announced plans to unite with Auditory-Verbal International Inc (AVI) to advance opportunities for children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing to learn spoken language. In December, AVI members voted in favor of dissolving AVI and integrating with AG Bell. On the heels of that announcement, AG Bell launched the AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language®, a result of the combined work of AVI and AG Bell. The academy will develop and manage certification programs for professionals who provide services to children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing. The academy’s initial focus will be on the continued growth and recognition of the Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist® designation. At its initial board meeting in November, the academy elected the following officers: as president, Teresa Caraway, PhD, CCC-SLP, Cert AVT; as president-elect, Carol Flexer, PhD, CCC-A, Cert AVT; as secretary, Don Goldberg, PhD, Cert AVT; and as treasurer, Lyn Robertson, PhD. During the meeting, the board of directors adopted articles of incorporation and bylaws, and established several key committees, including the Auditory-Verbal Certification Committee. The board was scheduled to meet again in January. For more information, contact (202) 337-5220; www.agbell.org.


Conferences

Mid-Atlantic Hearing Expo
The 2006 Mid-Atlantic Hearing Expo will be held March 23-25 at the Eisenhower Inn and Conference Center in Gettysburg, Pa. The annual Expo is sponsored by the Hearing Society of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Delaware; Pennsylvania Hearing Healthcare Assn; and the Virginia Society of Hearing Specialists. The event is expected to draw 250-plus attendees and features about 40 exhibitors. For more informtion, contact: Bob Stewart (717) 233-6844.

NHCA to Host Annual Conference
The National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) will hold its 31st annual conference February 16-18 in Tampa, Fla. Pre-conference activities on February 15 include the NHCA Scholarship Foundation golf tourney, and opportunities for HEAR Trak and other groups to meet. During the conference, featured workshops include “Bettering your Business for Professional Service Organizations” and “Field Verification of Hearing Protection Devices”, as well as other topics. Presentations on hearing protection include “Effect of training modality on earplug attenuation,” “Estimating noise-induced permanent threshold shift from audiometric shape,” and “A high-tech hearing protector to maximize attenuation and speech understanding.” Other topics will meet the needs of all levels and areas of hearing conservation issues. For more information, contact the NHCA at (303) 224-9022; www.hearingconservation.org.

California AG Bell Annual Conference
The California AG Bell Conference will be held Saturday, February 25 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, San Jose/Silicon Valley, in Milipitas, Calif. For more information, visit www.calif-agbell.org.


Education

Hearing Loss Association of America Launches Distance-Learning Program
Hearing Loss Association of America, Bethesda, Md—formerly Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH)—has launched the American Academy of Hearing Loss Support Specialists™, an online distance-learning program targeted to individuals who provide support for people with hearing loss on a professional or voluntary basis. The Academy is now accepting applications from the public, and launched its first public class December 6, 2005. The Academy will help build accurate knowledge about hearing loss among the public, increase understanding, improve services, and enhance the professionalism and credibility of the many people in diverse professions who provide support services to people with hearing loss and their families. It offers a certificate rather than a credential, and is dedicated to increasing knowledge and understanding rather than establishing a set of standards. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be awarded a Certificate in Hearing Loss Support. For more information, contact www.hearingloss.org/academy.

 Twenty-five professionals graduated from Amplifon USA’s Greenhouse Training and Professional Development class in November.

25 Graduate from Amplifon USA Class
Amplifon USA recently graduated its largest Greenhouse Training and Professional Development class. Twenty-five professionals from the United States and Canada attended the 21st Greenhouse from November 7-13, 2005 in Plymouth, Minn. Attendees participated in several interactive workshops, including business management, marketing, cerumen management, leadership, and evidence-based hearing aid dispensing protocols. The next Amplifon USA Greenhouse will be held May 1-7, 2006 at the company’s Plymouth headquarters. For more information, contact www.amplifonusa.com.