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Let Me Hear From You: What You Always Wanted to Know About the Academy… But Were Afraid to Ask

Let Me Hear From You: What You Always Wanted to Know About the Academy… But Were Afraid to Ask

Over the past eight months, I’ve spent time traveling to state audiology organization meetings and have had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful audiologists who are members of the Academy. I’ve had an opportunity to learn first-hand about the work these members do to advocate for the profession in their state; work with their state licensure boards to protect the professions scope of practice; provide exceptional services to patients with hearing, tinnitus, and balance impairments; and serve as clinical preceptors for students pursuing careers in audiology. I have been impressed with their willingness to contribute to the profession. After talking with my colleagues, I was consistently surprised to learn that many of them, don’t know much about their audiology professional home, the American Academy of Audiology. I thought it might be helpful to review the opportunities our members have for becoming involved and talk about other ways we hope to get you involved in the near future.

The Academy has 17 committees, 8 subcommittees, and several task forces and working groups that all contribute to advancing the profession of audiology. President-Elect Larry Eng is in the process of completing mid-year reviews of our committees. The mid-year review allows the Academy board and committee chairs to reevaluate their committee, determine if what they have been charged to do is appropriate, and identify who will chair the committee in the coming year. The last step in this process is for the appointed committee chair to select members to serve on the committee. Now is your opportunity to get involved, to volunteer and make a difference for the profession of audiology through volunteer work with the American Academy of Audiology.

Over the next few months, committee chairs will be reaching out to members who have volunteered to serve. Take the opportunity to contribute your ideas, propose solutions, and assist with developing strategies that will advance the profession. Committee positions are typically a three-year commitment, and each committee has different demands. Review the current committees on the Academy Web site and determine your level of interest. Perhaps you have expertise in a certain area of practice that you could share. The first step is to complete the volunteer form located on the link above and submit the form to the Academy office.

Perhaps you’re wondering what it takes to be a good committee member. Of course you must be willing to contribute a bit of your free time. You also need to be committed to completing assigned tasks. Ultimately, the most important quality needed is a desire to make a difference for the profession. If we each contributed just a little, I can only imagine how far we could go.

The work our members do as volunteers for the Academy is truly our most valuable resource. Our executive director recognized this and charged one of our dedicated staff, Sarah Sebastian, who serves as the director of membership, to take on a second role, that of volunteer engagement. Sarah, and the Academy staff team are working toward a more streamlined way to convey your desire to volunteer for the Academy. We are also looking for other opportunities for our members to become “micro-volunteers.” These types of volunteer opportunities would not require the three year commitment that becoming a committee member or chair requires. Instead these “micro-volunteer” opportunities would be a way for our members to test the “volunteer waters” with a much shorter commitment.

Don’t let this opportunity to get involved pass you by…and please don’t be discouraged if you aren’t selected the first time you submit the volunteer form. Each year, three members from our committees rotate off and new members are selected. If you aren’t selected to serve on a committee, stay tuned through our Academy communications for other ways to contribute and make a difference for audiology.

Until next time…