The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) will provide qualified sign language interpreters as required by federal law to deaf and hard-of-hearing persons using its programs and services across the state under a Settlement Agreement reached with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). An HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigation found that the State violated Federal discrimination laws when it failed to provide interpreters to deaf persons in critical situations, such as during child protective services investigations, and during treatment in State mental health facilities. Access to quality health care and social services programs are directly dependent on effective communication.
Hearing professionals working in the NHS have a chance to be recognised as the country's best following the launch of an exciting audiology competition. The 2010 Audiologist of the Year award has been launched to find the year's outstanding hearing professional. Hearing aid battery maker Rayovac is organising the competition to celebrate hearing healthcare and recognise the skills and dedication of professionals who go above and beyond the call of duty to help. The competition, which is recognised as the leading award in Europe, is judged by an independent panel of industry experts. It is open to audiologists working in the NHS and in private practice who must be nominated for the award by patients.
2010 marks the 30th year of the E-A-R™ Hearing Conservation Clinics. These educational seminars, presented by 3M, provide practical information on how to enhance hearing conservation programs that help protect workers who are exposed to on-the-job noise. The Clinics are FREE and are accredited for professionals by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene Certification Program, American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and American Academy of Audiology. The Clinics are offered to industrial, government, and military personnel who want to learn more about effective hearing conservation program management and how to properly protect their employees from hazardous noise.
Lives of millions of people with hearing difficulties may soon benefit from several new grants for research from leading medical research charity, deafness research UK. One of the grants for a pilot study involves finding out if there is a possible relationship between age related hearing loss, genetics and the environment. The study taking place at the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology at King's College in London will use older female twins because of their similar genetic background, but different hearing profiles. If the initial tests are successful, they will go on to conduct further research on more than 3, 800 twins.
New research has found giving up caffeine does not relieve tinnitus and acute caffeine withdrawal might add to the problem. This is the first study of its kind to look at the effect of caffeine consumption on tinnitus. The study, by the Centre for Hearing and Balance Studies at Bristol University and supported by a grant from Deafness Research UK, is published online in the International Journal of Audiology. Researchers carried out the first pseudo-randomised, double-blinded, placebo controlled study of phased caffeine withdrawal and abstention to test for a connection between caffeine consumption and tinnitus. The aim of the study was to provide evidence for therapeutic practice to the tinnitus community.
Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have identified neurons in the songbird brain that convey the auditory feedback needed to learn a song. Their research lays the foundation for improving human speech, for example, in people whose auditory nerves are damaged and who must learn to speak without the benefit of hearing their own voices. "This work is the first study to identify an auditory feedback pathway in the brain that is harnessed for learned vocal control, " said Richard Mooney, Ph.D., Duke professor of neurobiology and senior author of the study. The researchers also devised an elegant way to carefully alter the activity of these neurons to prove that they interact with the motor networks that control singing.