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ACAud17 Academic Program & Speakers

ACAud17 Academic Program

Click HERE to view ACAud17 Academic Program


ACAud17 Speakers & Presentation Abstracts

Dave Fabry | Key Note International Speaker

Title: What will the Future Hold for Audiology?

Abstract: Although the profession of Audiology has evolved considerably during the past 40 years, hearing aids have remained as a central component to our growth and success.   There are storm clouds on the horizon, however.  This two-part presentation will focus on present and future trends for the next 40 years, including parallels to other professions and the need to innovate beyond technology.

Biography:   Dave Fabry was educated in the US at the University  of Minnesota, where he his Ph.D. in Hearing Science in 1988.  Subsequently, he was Research Audiologist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center until he returned to the Midwest to join the staff at Mayo Clinic in the sunny southeastern tropic portion of the state of Minnesota.  He remained there until 2002, serving as Chief of Audiology from 1994-2002.  He also served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Audiology from 1997-2002, serving as President in 2001.  He then joined Phonak Hearing Systems as Vice President of Audiology and Professional Relations (2002-2007), followed by a stint as Associate Professor in Otolaryngology and Head of Audiology at the University of Miami, Vice President of Audiology and Professional Relations for Starkey Hearing Technologies (2009-2016) and his current role as Vice President of Global Medical Affairs for GN Resound.  Dave lives in Minneapolis Minnesota with his wife Liz, and is proud father to daughter Loren. 


Mike Valente | Key Note International Speaker

Title: Hearing Aid Evaluation: Explaining differences in levels of technology to patients.

Abstract: This presentation will present methods used by the presenter in his clinical practice to counsel patients on the differences in levels of technology. The author’s clinical environment is such that ~80% of hearing aids are self-pay and the remaining 20% are patients with insurance covering part of the cost and the patient responsible for paying the difference (i.e., balance billing).  In the presenter’s clinical environment commission is not part of dispensing and yet over 90% elect to pursue the higher levels of technology in spite of recent research indicating no difference in performance as related to level of technology. During counseling, patients are counseled that there is no evidence to suggest better performance with the more expensive technology, but still most patients pursue the higher levels of technology for a variety of reasons.

Biography:  Michael Valente is Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology and Director of Adult Audiology at Washington University School of Medicine. In his position, Mike is active in the clinic two days a week, conducts research, teaches a graduate course in amplification and administers the Division of Adult Audiology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975.  His interests include spending time with his beautiful wife Maureen who is Director of Audiology Studies at Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences (PACS) at Washington University. Mike enjoys travel, jogging, and reading (non-fiction).


Curtis Alcock | Key Note International Speaker

Title: The Potato Strategy (or how to change a social norm)

Abstract:  So you have this really great new product and a totally awesome service that wipes the floor with the competition. Yet it seems nobody’s  biting; they’re possibly even anti. Those that are interested seem to value price over quality. And if that wasn’t enough, PSAPs swagger out of nowhere, threatening to take over the neighbourhood and promising to bring about world peace.  If only people out there realised how important their hearing was! They wouldn’t compromise with these half-baked solutions and DIY fixes. They’d be doing everything in their power to get their hands on the latest technology AND the best expertise! Heck, they’d be hiring coaches to bring their friends and family to your door!  Surprisingly, many of the things we now consider to be “socially normal” were originally just the opposite: they were things that people ignored, even despised. But then something changed… Understanding how these transformations took place is the key to the future of hearing care, and a blueprint for the way we present ourselves to society today.

Title: The Science of Being Repulsive (and how to avoid it)

Abstract:  All of us that work within the hearing care profession know firsthand how life changing our work is. Yet despite our best efforts, there are still more people out there who avoid hearing care than approach it. Why? It seems that the attitudes of society towards their hearing having failed to keep apace with our own progress, so even after all these years we find ourselves bemoaning how long people wait before taking action, not to mention “the denial” and other barriers we encounter when they finally attend their first appointment.  In this presentation we will approach the question from the perspective of the social sciences, by looking at how attitudes are formed and shaped. We will discover that much of what we do and say as a profession are, at best, maintaining many of society’s outdated attitudes – and at worst, may actually be creating some of the very barriers that make our jobs harder. Along the way we will learn the science behind what repulses people – and more importantly, the simple changes we each can make to avoid doing so.

Biography:  Curtis began his career in design and marketing before making the transition into hearing care 15 years ago. He is now a full time hearing care professional and director of Audify®, an independent hearing centre in Exeter which evolved out of a family-run practice that traces its origins back to the 1840s.  On discovering that the traditional approaches to marketing did not have the same effectiveness for hearing care that he’d witnessed in other industries and professions, he began a personal research project to identify why the issues existed, where the barriers came from, and what could be done to address them. His investigation led him to the literature on attitude and attitude change, and it soon became apparent that hearing care had been inadvertently following strategies that were counter-productive to making hearing care acceptable.  This revelation motivated Curtis to radically change his own practice.  He now curates an online think-tank called audira.info and has lectured internationally in Europe, the US, Canada and Australia. Curtis lives in Exeter, UK with his wife and their youngest daughter who has recently brainwashed him into watching animé together. Meanwhile his other two children are at university and now know far too much for him to be of any help to them. He enjoys walking, table tennis, occasionally juggles (providing no-one’s watching), and stares guiltily at his dusty guitar and overgrown garden. 


Brent McMonagle | Key Note National Speaker

Title: Surgical options for hearing loss: the present and the future

Abstract: The causes of hearing loss are many and varied. While hearing aids remain the main rehabilitation option, there are a large number of surgical options available. From middle ear prostheses to implantable hearing aids, we are now spoilt for choice. As our population ages, there will be increased demand to manage hearing loss for longer periods of life. Advances in molecular neurobiology are unlocking the potential for growth factors and stem cells to be used in the cochlea. While the present looks and sounds good, the future looks even brighter.

Biography:  Brent McMonagle was born on the Gold Coast, and educated at The Southport School, graduating from the University of Queensland Medical School in 1996. I received my surgical fellowship in 2004 having completed my training in Queensland, and then undertook post-fellowship training in 2005/6 in Sydney, London, and Adelaide in the areas of otology, neurotology, skullbase surgery, and advanced sinus surgery.  Whilst having had broad training in all areas of my specialty, I have special interests in otology (including bone anchored hearing aids and cochlear implantation), neurotology (especially facial nerve disorders), skullbase surgery (such as acoustic neuromas and pituitary tumours), and advanced sinus surgery (and its extension to the orbit and skull base). I have written numerous articles and chapters on basic science and clinical research, and presented both nationally and internationally.  In terms of research, I have recently completed a PhD thesis through Griffith University on Nasal derived Olfactory Ensheathing and Stem Cells in Peripheral Nerve Repair and Regeneration. This work has involved developing alternative methods of peripheral nerve repair, and this technology has also led to applications in neurological disease and the human spinal cord injury trial at Princess Alexandra Hospital. I also serve as the scientific director of the Perry Cross Spinal Research Foundation, a not for profit charity involved in fund raising to support spinal cord research.


Bec Bennett | Key Note National Speaker

Title: Hearing aid handling & management: Are you getting the full story?

Abstract: Hearing healthcare clinicians provide hearing aid related information, training and troubleshooting as part of the rehabilitation program. However, too often we assume that our patients have learned that which we have taught them. Emerging literature suggests that up to 30% of hearing aid owners do not use their hearing aids regularly due to ongoing issues, such as those relating to physical fit, handling (e.g. difficulty inserting batteries), performance issues (e.g. sound quality, inability to reduce background noise) and complaints regarding ongoing maintenance requirements (e.g. cleaning, basic repairs). Until now, no comprehensive tool was available for clinicians and hearing aid owners to identify hearing aid related problems that clients may be experiencing. This presentation draws on several studies to 1) outline the impact that hearing aid problems and poor hearing aid handling skills are having on hearing aid outcomes, 2) offer clinical tools to assist clinicians with the identification and management of hearing aid problems, and 3) demonstrate the positive impact that use of these tools can have on your clinical practice.

Biography:  Bec Bennett is a clinical and research audiologist from the Ear Science Institute Australia. Her current research focuses on improving outcomes for older adults with hearing loss, specifically successful hearing aid and cochlear implant use. She is especially interested in the barriers and facilitators to device handling skills and the impact handling skills have on device use and satisfaction.


Karina Tao | Key Note National Speaker

Title: Teleaudiology: an innovation for hearing aid services

Abstract: Audiology faces challenges of delivering audiological services to hearing impaired people living in remote areas or who have other barriers to accessing clinics. The scarcity of ear and hearing health care professionals in the workforce adds to problem, as does the growing demand of service as life expectancy increases. Teleaudiology has been considered a potential solution for this issue taking advantage of recent developments in information and computer technologies. However, it is a wide field yet be explored which comes with  new challenges. We will discuss and explore teleaudiology for different aspects of hearing aid rehabilitation services.  The presentation will provide a summary of the current evidence generated by various international studies. It was also include the preliminary results from our current research on follow-up hearing aid fitting consultations. It is one of the first of its kind in this field. It promises to provide evidence for the implementation of remote hearing-aid services into clinical practice.  This will be a call to action for hearing care specialists to be primary participants in innovation in hearing aid clinical practice.

Biography:  Karina Tao is a clinical audiologist and a speech-language pathologist graduated from Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo and Universidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil. With thirteen years’ experience in audiological clinical practice, she came to Australia to pursue her PhD at the University of Western Australia through the Ear Sciences Centre after been granted a scholarship from her home government.  Karina’s passion in innovating and helping the hearing impaired people, especially the ones unable to reach the clinics, has driven her to investigate the tele-audiology field. She has been developing a remote clinical practice model for hearing aid services through her PhD studies. Her aim is to evaluate and develop a remote service similarly to what is been carried out in conventional hearing aid clinics. The results of her current research promises evidence for potential translation and implementation of such practice.