Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2018


Research has shown that untreated hearing loss can negatively impact a person’s quality of life. The average person with hearing loss waits seven years from the onset of symptoms to pursue hearing aids (Hall, 2014). To decrease the negative effects of hearing loss, hearing technology, by itself, is typically not enough support for even the best users (Kelly et al., 2013). To provide supplementary support for these patients, audiologic rehabilitation (AR) is required. Audiologic rehabilitation is the modern term used to classify treatments that were previously so- called “aural rehabilitation.” Per Boothroyd (2007), aural [audiologic] rehabilitation may be defined as, the “reduction of hearing loss deficits of function, activity, participation and quality of life through a combination of sensory management, instruction, perceptual training, and counseling” (p. 63).

The Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic (ETSHC) at Illinois State University (ISU) currently offers an AR program referred to as the Hearing Help Course (HHC). The program is currently facilitated by a clinical supervisor and one or two Doctor of Audiology (AuD) graduate students. When this report was written, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) required that all AuD graduate students take a course titled, “Advanced Audiologic Rehabilitation: Adult/Geriatric” (CSD 533), instructed by Dr. Antony Joseph. Information regarding best practices, person-centered care, and professional recommendations were obtained from the professor of CSD 533, the HHC coordinator, and the audiology clinical educators in the AuD program. As such, there appears to be an opportunity to improve clinical training that pertains to AR within ISU’s AuD program.

At the time this report was finalized, there were 75 AuD programs across the United States. Five of these AuD programs were located within the State of Illinois, one of the most populous states. Some states do not have even one AuD program; however, Illinois is one of the states with multiple AuD programs. We contacted Illinois AuD programs to gather information about their required graduate AR coursework and related rehabilitation services being offered to patients.

The goal of our project was to enhance the patient experience by synthesizing material from didactic training (CSD 533), and observations from other relevant research, into the ETSHC HHC. Through this investigative process, a variety of best practices were discovered. As AR is often clinically underutilized, it was suspected that a select number of audiology clinics might not be offering direct services to patients. Furthermore, in the literature, suggested methodologies for hearing rehabilitation vary widely; thus, we hypothesized that survey responses from university audiologists in Illinois would differ extensively as well.