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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3/13/12  11:14 pm
Commenter: Ayasakanta Rout, Ph.D. James Madison University

Audiologists go through rigorous training in hearing aids - dispensing license tests are redundant

I would like to express my strong support for exempting Virginia licensed audiologists from current examination requirements in obtaining a Virginia Hearing Aid Specialist license. Clinical doctoral programs in Audiology (Au.D.) across the country follow a rigrous curriculum that includes a minimum of two courses in hearing aids. This covers all aspects of hearing aid technology and patient care. In addition to the rigorous coursework, audiologists gain hundreds of hours of clinical experience (direct patient care) in the area of hearing aid selection, customization, and follow-up. Graduates of the AuD program from James Madison University (who are often the very audiologists having to take the hearing aid dispensing license examinations in Virginia) are very well prepared in the area of hearing aids.

As somebody who trains the future audiologists of Virginia, and has taken the hearing aid dispensing license tests, I can vouch for the fact that these tests are unnecessary, redundant, and not a good use of the test administrator's time. Since the accreditation bodies ensure that an extensive list of knowledge and skills pertaining to the area of management of hearing loss (a big part of which is hearing aids) are mastered int eh AuD program, there is no need for the written and practical tests. If the hearing aid specialist license examinations are waived for audiologists, the board can use the additional time for testing the non-audiologists in a rigorous manner to ensure that the people of virginia get excellent hearing aid care.

CommentID: 23525