According to research compiled by Pamela Millett, assistant professor and educational audiologist
at York University in Toronto, a number of studies show decreases in special education referral rates following installation of sound field acoustic systems across school districts.
Daisy Monticelli, whose 5-year-old daughter Marenpreviously had received mapping services in Eugene, said she now takes her daughter to Portland to see an educational audiologist
, who works primarily with children with cochlear implants.
Tschirgi cites a study conducted by Laurie Allen, an educational audiologist
in Dubuque, IA, who surveyed 334 students in grades 1 to 6 about amplified classrooms.
Results may serve as an important step in (a) advocating for the inclusion of an educational audiologist on the service delivery team; (b) allowing the educational audiologist to provide information and assistance to teachers who have students with MHL in their classrooms; (c) optimizing hearing screening procedures; and (d) reinforcing, particularly to school administrators, the need for collaborative efforts to optimize educational opportunities for children with MHL.
This information can be readily obtained from collaboration with an educational audiologist.
Each of these models incorporates the services of an educational audiologist. Educational service providers, particularly teachers and school administrators, need to become familiar with these service delivery models and adopt the model that best suits their school system.
Of concern is the fact that many students with a mild hearing loss are not considered eligible for direct intervention from special education personnel, including educational audiologists. In addition, the time allocated for audiologists to consult with teachers is limited.
The documented adverse effects of hearing loss on the education, behavior, and psychosocial development of children are some of the reasons that educational audiologists play a pivotal role in working with teachers for effective classroom intervention (Flexer, 1994; Jarvelin, Maki-Torkko, Sorri, & Rantakallio, 1997; Nittrouer, 1996; Northern & Downs, 2002).
There is a need for students in audiology graduate programs (AuD students) to understand the important role of educational audiologists and to appreciate the fact that work in the schools is equally as important as work in health-care and industrial settings.
Data support the educational and financial benefits of teachers' collaboration with educational audiologists (McCormick Richburg & Goldberg, 2005).
In this way, the community partners would experience the benefits that educational audiologists can provide to a school, the teachers, and the students with hearing loss.
In this issue, they discuss the perceptions of teachers regarding those beliefs as they relate to children with minimal hearing loss and the role of educational audiologists
on the service-delivery team.