Introduction: Course objectives

Audiology Practice

Field of Audiology

History of Audiology

Training and Education

Professional Organizations

Find a Pediatric Audiologist

How the Ear Works

Hearing Loss

Detecting and Diagnosing Hearing Loss in Children

Intervention for Children with Permanent HL

Case studies


Credits and Acknowledgements


Last updated: 10-sep-10

History of Audiology

The profession of audiology had its origins in the 1920’s when audiometers were first designed for measuring hearing.

Interest in this profession surged in the 1940’s when soldiers returned from World War II with noise induced hearing loss due to near-by gunfire or to prolonged and unprotected exposure to machinery noise. Others had psychogenic (non-organic) hearing loss as a result of severe emotional and mental stress. The Veterans Administration took a lead role in providing hearing testing and rehabilitation through hearing aids, auditory training, and speechreading (lipreading) programs.

Since the 1940’s and 1950’s, the study of hearing, hearing loss, and audiologic rehabilitation has escalated and expanded.

Today, audiologists and the practice of audiology have widespread visibility. Audiology has a presence in public schools, health care centers, private practices, nursing homes, community agencies, the military, hospitals, colleges and universities, hearing aid dispensing centers, hearing and speech centers. They test hearing and listening ability; they fit hearing aids and assistive listening devices; they provide training and rehabilitation programs for individuals with hearing and listening disorders; they participate on health care and educational teams to plan and provide the most appropriate services.

Information about the audiology profession was obtained from the American Academy of Audiology website:

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Center on Human Development and Disability, UW LEND, University of Washington,
Box 357920, Seattle, WA 98195-7920