Archived Webinar: Speech Understanding in Complex Environments by Children Who Are Hard of Hearing – Sept 25, 2019

DATE: September 25th, 2019 – 1pm ET

SPEAKER: Dawna Lewis, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Boys Town National Research Hospital

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ABSTRACT: There is a substantial body of research demonstrating that speech perception by children who are hard of hearing is negatively impacted by poor acoustics. Much of the previous research in this area has been conducted via laboratory studies using speech-recognition tasks with a single talker and presentation via earphones and/or from a loudspeaker located directly in front of the listener. Real-world speech understanding, however, is affected by interdependent factors including characteristics of the listener, the target speech and background sounds, the acoustic environment, and the message/task. This presentation will address timely issues relative to speech understanding in complex environments, focusing on children who are hard of hearing. We will review relevant research and discuss results in terms of implications for real-world listening and understanding. This discussion will be of interest to clinicians who work with children who are hard of hearing and their families and will provide information that can enhance service provision.

Key Learning Points:

  • Have knowledge of the effects of room acoustics on speech understanding.
  • Have knowledge of auditory and visual factors that impact speech understanding.
  • Have knowledge of the effects of task complexity on speech understanding.

SPEAKER: Dawna Lewis, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Boys Town National Research Hospital

Dawna Lewis, PhD, is a Sr. Research Associate at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. She has presented and published on topics involving pediatric audiology/amplification and hearing assistance technologies. Dr. Lewis is involved in research addressing issues related to amplification and speech perception in children. Recent work has examined the impact of mild bilateral and unilateral hearing loss on children’s speech understanding in complex environments by manipulating acoustic and visual characteristics of the environments and tasks.



Archived Webinar: What the Auditory Cortex Does Before and After Hearing Loss with Stephen G. Lomber (May 29th, 2019)

Date: Wednesday, May 29th at 1 pm ET

Speaker: Stephen G. Lomber Ph.D., Professor of Physiology and Psychology, University of Western Ontario   

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ABSTRACT: Cortical plasticity is the neural mechanism by which the cerebrum adapts itself to its environment, while at the same time making it vulnerable to impoverished sensory or developmental experiences. Like the visual system, auditory development passes through a series of sensitive periods in which circuits and connections are established and then refined by experience. During these periods, the functional maturation of auditory processing and perception is critically dependent on adequate auditory experience. Unfortunately, in cases of sensory deprivation, such as congenital deafness, this process is arrested. Fortunately, it appears that this situation can be reversed in individuals that receive cochlear prosthetics.

Current research is expanding our understanding of cerebral processing and organization in the deaf. In the congenitally deaf, higher-order areas of “deaf” auditory cortex demonstrate significant crossmodal plasticity with neurons responding to visual and somatosensory stimuli. This crucial cerebral function results in adaptive, compensatory plasticity. Not only can the remaining inputs reorganize to substitute for those lost, but this additional circuitry also confers enhanced abilities to the remaining systems. In this presentation, we will review our present understanding of the structure and function of “deaf” auditory cortex using psychophysical, electrophysiological, and connectional anatomy approaches and consider how this knowledge informs our expectations of the capabilities of cochlear implants in the developing brain.

Learning Objectives:

  • To learn how anatomical, electrophysiological, and psychophysical techniques can be used to examine the functional organization of the auditory cortex in hearing and deaf subjects.
  • To learn how the absence of auditory input during brain development alters the developmental trajectory of auditory cortex and how even short periods of acoustic experience during development can have a major influence on cerebral organization.
  • To appreciate how cochlear implants can re-establish an auditory cortical organization similar to that of a hearing individuals.

Speaker Bio: Stephen G. Lomber Ph.D 

Stephen G. Lomber, Ph.D. is a Professor of Physiology and Psychology at the University of Western Ontario where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Brain Plasticity and Development. Steve directs the Cerebral Systems Laboratory (www.cerebralsystems.ca) and is a Principal Investigator in the National Centre for Audiology and the Brain and Mind Institute. Dr. Lomber’s lab uses an integrated approach of psychophysics, electrophysiological recording, neuroanatomical techniques, and functional imaging to examine processing in auditory cortex. Work in the lab examines cortical plasticity in the presence and absence of acoustic input, and following the initiation of auditory processing through the means of cochlear prosthetics. He is the Associate Editor of Hearing Research, and a past chair of the Gordon Research Conference on the Auditory System and the International Conference on Auditory Cortex.

CAA Members free registration

Non CAA members – fee $50.00 CDN

Archived Webinar: Hearing Healthcare for Infants and Children in Canada: Status of EHDI Programs with Marlene Bagatto, Sheila Moodie (April 10, 2019)

Speakers: Marlene Bagatto, AuD, PhD, Aud(C) & Sheila Moodie, PhD

Presented: Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

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Early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) programs are available worldwide to proactively address hearing health in infants and children. A report card issued in 2014 from the Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force indicated that comprehensive EHDI programs were not available across Canada.

In this presentation, we will describe a status update of EHDI programs in Canada based on information gathered through a 24-item, country-wide survey. Results from this work revealed that, as a whole, Canada remains insufficient in offering comprehensive, accessible and sustainable EHDI programs. Continued action from Canada’s governments, in addition to federal policy leadership, is needed to achieve sufficient and sustainable EHDI programs.

Learning Objectives: Participants of this presentation will be able to:

  • Describe the components of a comprehensive EHDI program.
  • Explain the status of EHDI programs across Canada.

Level: Intermediate

This webinar is eligible for a CAA CEU. This webinar is for CAA and SAC members only.

Speakers: Marlene Bagatto, AuD, PhD, Aud(C) & Sheila Moodie, PhD

Marlene Bagatto, AuD, PhD, Aud(C)
Marlene Bagatto is a professor at Western University in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the National Centre for Audiology. She is the chair of the Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force and was the president of the Canadian Academy of Audiology.



Sheila Moodie, PhD
Sheila Moodie is an associate professor at Western University in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is a member of the National Centre for Audiology and the Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force and is the director of the Family-Centred Early Intervention Lab at Western University.

Archived Webinar: New Advances in Tinnitus Assessment webinar with Philippe Fournier (November 20th, 2018)

New Advances in Tinnitus Assessment webinar with Philippe Fournier, Ph.D – November 20th, 2018 at 1 pm ET.

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While masking and residual inhibition (RI) may provide diagnostic and prognostic valuable information, these measures are rarely performed in clinics, as they are not adapted to clinical constraints. This webinar will present a new method for measuring tinnitus masking and residual inhibition by using an acoustic sequence made of pulsed acoustic stimulation of fixed duration and inter-stimulus intervals that may be more suited to clinical constraints. The difference between this new technique and the ‘’classic’’ method will be provided. The results obtained with this new technique from a tinnitus cohort of 64 tinnitus patients will be presented. From the study, it was concluded that, with the new technique, the measurements of tinnitus masking and residual inhibition can be easily, quickly and reliably obtained from a wide variety of patients displaying different hearing loss configurations such as presbyacusis, flat hearing loss and even normal hearing. More so, this approach allows the categorization of tinnitus patients into different sub-groups. The potential of these measures as a prognostic indicator of sound therapy success will be discussed.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Understand the concept of tinnitus masking and residual inhibition
  2. Differentiate the new technique using pulse noise from the classic method to measure tinnitus masking and residual inhibition
  3. Integrate the new minimum masking level and minimum residual inhibition level technique using pulse-noise in their clinical practice
  4. Integrate those new results with those of other test in their overall interpretation of the tinnitus condition of a patient

The Speaker: Philippe Fournier, Ph.D., Postdoctoral fellow researcher, M.Sc.S., Audiologist, FAAA

Philippe Fournier is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université d’Aix-Marseille, France. He is also the founder, and past CEO and president of the Quebec Association of Speech-language Pathologists and Audiologists (QASLPA) from 2011-2014. Philippe research has been dedicated to improve diagnostic measures and therapy options for tinnitus and hyperacusis. Philippe also has previous experience as a clinician in a private practice setting in Montreal and as audiology clinical instructor for the audiology clinic of the Université de Montréal.

Archived Webinar: Motivation, Cognition and Listening Effort with Mary Rudner (June 28, 2018)

Motivation, Cognition and Listening Effort

Speaker:  Professor Mary Rudner

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Hard of hearing people often find that listening is effortful. This makes listening effort an important phenomenon to study. However, there has been a lack of consensus among the research community concerning both the definition of listening effort and how to measure it. The Framework for Understanding Effortful Listening (FUEL, Pichora Fuller et al., 2016) brings together tools and concepts to form a basis for future work on understanding listening effort. It also provides a scientific definition of listening effort: the deliberate allocation of mental resources to overcome obstacles in goal pursuit when carrying out a listening task. Fundamental to the FUEL is Kahneman’s (1973) model of attention and effort, which describes how available cognitive resources are allocated to on-going tasks. This allocation process can also be understood in terms of working memory. The decision to allocate cognitive resources to a listening task often depends on motivation and the pleasure of hearing significant sounds.

In this CAA webinar, I will describe the FUEL and how it can be used as a tool for understanding effortful listening. I will also provide examples of the way in which the FUEL is driving current research.

Learning points:
1. The role of cognition in listening
2. Understanding the Framework for Understanding Effortful Listening (FUEL)
3. Methods of measuring listening effort

Speaker: Mary Rudner, Professor in Disability Research, Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden.

Mary Rudner is Professor of Disability Research specializing in Cognitive Hearing Science at Linköping University, Sweden and guest professor at Lund University, Sweden. At Linköping University, she is Deputy Research Manager at the Linnaeus Centre HEAD, for research on HEaring And Deafness, and Director of Studies of the HEAD Graduate School. Her research interest is in the role of cognition in language and memory. Her work is funded by Swedish Research Council, Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, Swedish Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare and she has received career awards from Linköping University. She collaborates nationally and internationally. Recent work has focused on cognitive representation and cross-modal plasticity associated with deafness.

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Non CAA Members – fee $50.00


  • Kahneman, D. (1973). Attention and Effort. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
  • Pichora-Fuller, M.K., Kramer, S.E., Eckert, M.A., Edwards, B.B., Hornsby, B.W.Y., Humes, L.E., Lemke, U., Lunner, T., Matthen, M., Mackersie, C.L., Naylor, G., Phillips, N.,  Richter, M., Rudner, M., Sommers, M.S., Tremblay, K.L. & Wingfield A. (2016). Hearing Impairment and Cognitive Energy: The Framework for Understanding Effortful Listening (FUEL). Ear and Hearing, 37, 5S-27
Archived webinar: Connected Technologies for Improved Access in Global Hearing Care with De Wet Swanepoel (May 22, 2018)

Connected Technologies for Improved Access in Global Hearing Care 

Speaker: De Wet Swanepoel, Ph.D., University of Pretoria

Watch recording.

Webinar Abstract

Hearing loss is a pervasive chronic disability that affects more than a billion people annually. Unsurprisingly, it is a leading contributor to the global burden of disease. Early access to hearing care is critical for optimal outcomes, but for most of those affected it remains out of reach. Novel solutions, capitalizing on advances in technology and connectivity, demonstrate promise for increasing access and quality of care whilst reducing costs. The penetration and ubiquity of mobile phones, even in developing countries, make connected technologies a powerful potential tool for widespread impact.

This presentation will consider two broad approaches to connected solutions for hearing loss including an end-user consumer model and a point-of-care diagnostic device operated by minimally trained facilitators. The hearZA App – South Africa’s National Hearing Test – was launched on World Hearing Day 3 March 2016 (www.hearZA.co.za). The digits-in-noise test, which is self-administered, is quick and provides a valuable indication of real-life hearing ability – understanding speech-in-noise. The impact of this public hearing health tool will be reviewed along with further developments in accuracy and platform possibilities such as customisable web-apps and freestanding kiosks in community centres.

Targeted community-based hearing tests in contexts such as home visits, schools and primary health care clinics can be facilitated by minimally trained persons using low-cost connected technologies. Our research on Android-based software applications has demonstrated that accurate calibration and real-time noise monitoring is possible on supported devices, which allow for clinically valid pure tone audiometric testing when linked with a calibrated headphone. Connected solutions like these allow new models of service-delivery where minimally trained persons, with support from a cloud-based data management services, can ensure greater penetration, reach and even uptake of hearing health care.

Learning points

  1. Participants will be able to describe burden of hearing loss globally
  2. Participants will be gain an understanding on how mHealth solutions can impact hearing care
  3. Participants will be able to describe new community-based service-delivery models enabled by connected hearing care

Speaker: Prof. De Wet Swanepoel, is professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria with adjunct positions at the University of Western Australia, and is a senior research fellow at the Ear Science Institute Australia. Prof Swanepoel’s research capitalises on the growth in information and communication technologies to explore, develop and evaluate innovative service delivery models and applied solutions to improve access to early development and health services, particularly in ear and hearing care. He has published more than 140 peer-reviewed articles, books and book chapters and has received numerous national and international awards in recognition of his work. Prof Swanepoel serves as president of the International Society of Audiology and as deputy editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Audiology.

De Wet Swanepoel, Ph.D.

  • Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
  • Ear Sciences Centre, School of Surgery, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Australia
  • Ear Science Institute Australia, Subiaco, Australia
Archived Webinar – An Overview of the Development of the Document, “Vestibular Assessment & Management for Canadian Audiologists: A Scoping Review”

An Overview of the Development of the Document, “Vestibular Assessment & Management for Canadian Audiologists: A Scoping Review”

Presented: Tuesday, May 30 at 12 pm EDT to 1:30 pm EDT

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