Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians
Hearing Aid Specialists Regulations [18 VAC 80 ‑ 20]
Action Amendments to Board for Hearing Aid Specialists Regulations 2012
Comment Period Ended on 3/14/2012
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3/12/12  10:54 am
Commenter: Carolyn Smaka, Au.D.

Licensed audiologists in VA should be exempt from redundant hearing aid dispensing examination

All audiology academic programs in the U.S. require rigorous coursework and practical experience with the selection and fitting of hearing aids, and audiologists must also meet rigorous standards to obtain and maintain an audiology state license.  Therefore, most states do not require audiologists to take a separate exam to obtain a hearing aid license.  The requirement for a separate hearing aid license exam for audiologists creates needless bureaucracy and may in fact, harm the public by creating an unnecessary barrier (cost, travel, time) for audiologists who move to the state or our newly graduated.  Both the aging of the population as well as the identification of hearing loss in newborns through hearing screening have created a significant increase in the demand for audiology services.  To best address this need, Virginia should implement common sense measures that support and enable audiologists to practice within their area of expertise, one being the elimination of the redundant requirement for audiologists to take a separate exam to dispense hearing aids when it is already covered in the VA audiology state license.  Thank you for your consideration of this action which would eliminate redundancy and bureaucracy, and best serve the residents of Virginia.

CommentID: 23496