Kansas audiologists Tim Steele, PhD, and Susie Ternes, AuD, attended a fundraising event for Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas, held in Topeka on December 13. The Senator is the sponsor of the “Fit to Serve” legislation (S. 564), which is strongly opposed by the American Academy of Audiology.

The bill would permit the Veterans Administration to hire hearing aid specialists to deliver hearing health-care services that currently can be provided only by or under the supervision of licensed audiologists. Drs. Steele and Ternes assured the Senator that audiologists share his goal to ensure that veterans have access to quality care.  However, hearing aid specialists receive minimal training and are poorly equipped to deliver the level of care that audiologists provide to veterans.

In Kansas, hearing aid specialists are required only to be 21 years old and to have a high school diploma (or equivalent). Audiologists are doctoral-level professionals who undergo a rigorous four-year post-graduate academic and clinical training program. Senator Moran expressed interest in the views of audiology, and he suggested a follow-up meeting. The fundraising event was a success and also lots of fun.

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