Founded in January of 1988, the American Academy of Audiology has become the largest organization of audiologists in the world. The Academy provides education, research, and development of its members, while promoting public awareness of hearing disorders. With more than 11,000 members, the Academy is dedicated to promoting quality hearing care by advancing the audiology profession.
The American Academy of Audiology began when a group of leaders in the field organized at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. The sole purpose of the meeting was to create an independent national organization of audiologists. The organization would cater to the unique issues and concerns of professionals in the field of audiology. Soon after the meeting, an advisory committee was selected to set up a national office, elect officers, and begin establishing memberships.
Dr. James Jerger, the audiologist who called the meeting in Houston, became the organization’s first president. The Academy was incorporated in June 1988, and the first national convention took place in April 1989, with nearly 600 audiologists attending. The American Academy of Audiology continued to grow, with over 7,000 members by 2001, and more than 11,000 by 2008.
The Academy strives to further the science and practice of audiology, and to promote recognition of its members as experts in the fields of hearing and balance. On the 20 year anniversary of its founding, the advisory board declared January 30th would be Founder’s Day for the American Academy of Audiology, in order to commemorate and celebrate the milestone. To honor Dr. James Jerger, the founding father of the organization, a conference room in the Academy’s Capitol Hill office was re-named The James Jerger Conference Room.
The Academy publishes a research journal, the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, ten times per year. They also provide a magazine, Audiology Today, which is published twice per month, and a newsletter, AT Extra, which is available monthly via the web. These publications are only available to members of the organization.
To become a member of the American Academy of Audiology, one must possess specific credentials, including a master’s degree in audiology. The Academy also has several different levels of membership which include Fellows, Affiliates, International Members, and Students. These members must abide strictly by the Academy’s Code of Ethics, which is similar to that of other medical professions. Other membership types include Life, Retired, and Disabled, all of which have their own special requirements.