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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3/11/12  4:01 pm
Commenter: Therese C. Walden, Au.D., Walter Reed Medical Center

Amendment to remove requirement for dual licensure for Audiologists


An audiologist is a specialist in the auditory system, and is trained to diagnose hearing pathology, and treat non-medical causes for hearing loss. The prescription of hearing aids and assistive listening devices is the best course of management to treat hearing loss. All academic doctoral programs across the nation educate students in courses specific to the prescription, fitting and follow-up associated with hearing aid and assistive devices treatment for hearing loss. Many programs require multiple, advanced courses with many hours of practicum to support the didactic training.


Audiologists are autonomous hearing healthcare professionals who meet demanding graduation standards as well as licensing standards to practice their full scope of practice. Additionally, the rigorous continuing education requirement of audiologists in the state of Virginia, under the audiology license, also ensures that those who dispense hearing aids within their practice setting will receive contemporary ongoing education that will ensure efficacious and safe patient care is provided to the citizens of Virginia. 


The current regulation that requires audiologists practicing with an audiology license in Virginia to also obtain a hearing aid dispensing license is no longer applicable as the audiology license covers consumer safety in terms of state-of-the-art practice by the audiologist. Dual licensure for an audiologist is outdated and redundant and places an unfair burden on the audiology professional to meet the same standard with 2 separate licenses. I appreciate the opportunity to comment and encourage the Board to fully support the amendment to remove the need for dual licensure for fully qualified audiologists.
CommentID: 23485