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Instructional Courses

IC1: Implantable Solutions: An Overview for Audiologists

Tracey King
Oticon Medical

Sunday 20 May 2018
1.30pm – 3.00pm


This instructional course will provide valuable insight to Audiologists who may not work with implantable solutions every day. It will attempt to take the audience through the various steps involved in determining the candidacy for bone anchored hearing devices & cochlear implants, and achieving a successful fitting in children and adults using an easy-to-follow practical approach.

Topics to be covered in the session will include:

  • Bone Anchored Hearing Systems (BAHS) - how they work and who they are for
  • Counselling for BAHS
  • Improvements in implant and abutment design, and soft band design
  • The importance of dynamic range, output and bandwidth to sound quality
  • Developments in surgical technique/approach
  • Cochlear Implant Systems - how they work and who they are for
  • Expanding candidacy criteria, and the issue surrounding low referral rates for those who could benefit from a cochlear implant
  • Counselling for cochlear implant candidates
  • New implant design and fixation techniques
  • New speech coding strategies and their effect on listening in noise

IC2: The Value of Integrated Service Delivery in Ensuring Appropriate Audiological and Communication Interventions for Infants and Children with Hearing Loss

Sarah Love & Lauren Nirsimloo

Sunday 20 May 2018
1.30pm – 3.00pm


The Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children aims to offer early intervention to infants and children using the most appropriate language modality (Auslan, multimodal communication, spoken language), for the child using a family centred approach.

RIDBC offers an early intervention model of service delivery for children with hearing loss including audiological services that are delivered concurrently. This integrated service delivery model, where audiologists work as part of multidisciplinary team, has enabled smoother decision making regarding cochlear implant candidacy and the early adoption of the most appropriate communication modality.

This instructional course will present a number of case studies where the advantages of an integrated approach are highlighted. Case studies will include children with limited outcomes from cochlear implantation where multimodal communication approaches were adopted and children who were borderline for implantation where an integrated approach informed the final decision. The advantages of multidisciplinary approach, including audiologists, speech pathologists, teachers of the deaf and the family counsellor will be explored.

Following this course participants will:
- Understand the decision making process adopted at RIDBC to help ensure children receive
the most appropriate communication methodology
- Have had the opportunity to contribute to discussions about case management in children where clear paths around hearing technology and communication methodology are complex.

IC3: Electrophysiological Assessments and Cochlear Implants: From Initial Assessment to Clinical Fitting

Jane Brew and Dr Wai Kong Lai
Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre

Sunday 20 May 2018
1.30pm – 3.00pm


Electrophysiological assessments of hearing function provide important and useful objective information about the state of a person’s hearing. Prior to cochlear implant (CI) surgery, candidates are assessed for suitability by ensuring a functional auditory nerve in response to electrical stimulation. During surgery, electrophysiological monitoring helps ensure proper placement of the CI’s electrode array as well as confirming proper function of the implant and the presence of responses in the auditory nerve. Measured neural response thresholds are useful in assisting with in the fitting of the patients’ sound processors. Post-operatively, electrophysiological assessments are essential to confirm proper function of the implants, particularly after incidents that may have resulted in damage to the device. More recently, cortical measurements are used in helping in programming sound processors by ensuring that presented stimuli are audible in patients who may be unable to provide feedback clearly.

IC4: The Use of Speech Mapping in Hearing Aid Verification

Jan Pollard

Sunday 20 May 2018
1.30pm – 3.00pm


Real Ear Insertion Gain (REIG) was developed for the assessment and settings for hearing aid gain almost two decades ago. Hearing aids are now more complex with many adaptive features and complex digital processing being used, and so we need to review what is available in terms of a more appropriate measurement technique.

Speech Mapping (SM) is now being used by many clinicians as it enables the assessment of the aid function, with all features being turned on, and can be used with NAL-NL1 or NL2 targets being applied. The use of Percentile Analysis can also enhance hearing aid output assessment as it provides additional information than just a single output line. It looks at the dynamics of the modified processed signal, not only the Long Term Average Speech Spectrum (LTASS) output level. This enhances the fitting outcome, especially in relation to speech understanding in noise. Both of these techniques use a speech signal, ideally the International Speech Test Signal (ISTS) to standardise the measurements.

The practical applications of these measurement techniques will be demonstrated and discussed.

The learning objectives of this workshop are to:

- Working knowledge of Real Ear Insertion Gain in relation to other assessment techniques
now available for hearing aid fittings
- Improved understanding of signals used in real ear measurement, including the ISTS, the
rainbow passage and live voice
- Speech Mapping- background and application in the assessment of modern digital hearing
- Percentile Analysis as a means of assessing the dynamics of speech in the processed signal
- Practical application in terms of fitting and fine tuning hearing aid fittings, using these techniques, as a means to optimise speech understanding in both quiet and in noise.

IC5: Wideband Acoustic Immittance (WAI) Measurements and its Clinical Application in the Diagnosing Middle Ear Pathologies

Sreedevi Aithal
Joseph Kei
Venkatesh Aithal

Sunday 20 May 2018
1.30pm – 3.00pm


Wideband acoustic immittance (WAI) is a non-invasive diagnostic assessment for middle ear function. In recent years, WAI measurements, especially wideband absorbance (WBA) measured at ambient pressure and WBA measured under pressurized conditions (wideband tympanometry, WBT), have emerged as a new clinical tool with greater accuracy than 226 Hz tympanometry in children and adults, 1000 Hz tympanometry in infants in identifying middle ear pathologies.

While there are a number of WAI measures such as admittance magnitude (YM), admittance phase (YA), ear canal volume, and resonance frequency (RF) can be obtained simultaneously, the most commonly used measure is WBA obtained under ambient pressure or pressurized conditions. During testing, a wideband stimulus (e.g., a click or chirp) is presented in the ear canal and the power absorbed by the middle ear is measured. Absorbance is measured across wide range of speech frequencies from 0.226 to 8 kHz.

WAI has been shown to be a promising clinical tool in the evaluation of middle ear system. WBT measure has advantages over standard tympanometry: (a) It provides a comparison of absorbance at 0 daPa and peak tympanometric pressure (TPP) which is very useful in differential diagnosis (b) tympanograms of different probe frequencies (226, 660, 800, and 1000 Hz) can be easily extracted from WBT without testing individual frequencies. (c) ear canal volume and TPP measurements for 226 Hz tympanometry can be easily derived from WBT (d) RF of the middle ear which is not available in 226 Hz tympanometry, can be easily measured using WBT.

IC7: The Dizzy Patient: How to Triage Patients Presenting With Vestibular Concerns

Dr Michael Maslin
assisted by Trong Nguyen

Sunday 20 May 2018
1.30pm – 3.00pm


Vestibular complaints account for a large proportion of emergency hospital admissions. Could there be something we can do better in the clinical realm that could prevent such admissions or foster greater understanding of how to test a patient presenting with vestibular concerns?

This instructional course, including a small hands on component, will discuss the journey a dizzy patient takes when presenting to a clinic or hospital with vestibular symptoms.

1. A physiological overview will be provided of the vestibular end organs, where issues can occur and what those symptoms may present like.
2. The need for adequate diagnostic hearing assessment will be discussed, including a complete
vestibular case history work up.
3. Triaging patients based on their presenting symptoms will be discussed, and in
particular, red flags signalling the need for specialist care.
4. Types of assessment techniques that can be used to assess each symptom and each part of
the vestibular system will be covered.
5. Finally, a hands on component will be included so that participants are able to see and feel how these tests are completed. The main test in this battery will centre on the vHIT (video Head Impulse Test) due to its portability, low cost, and ease of use for triage purposes.

The audiologist can play a crucial role in ascertaining the nature and degree of vestibular conditions. Hospital admission rates have the potential to be reduced and audiological services expanded, if the ability to triage vestibular patients in a more effective and timely manner occurs.

IC8: Paradigm Shifts in Audiology, Cognition & Amplification

Dr Douglas Beck

Sunday 20 May 2018
3.30pm – 5.00pm


Audiology in 2018 is very different from audiology in 1987. The profession is starting to shift away from well-accepted protocols which reduce the dynamics of sound to alternative and sophisticated sound processing systems. These newer and faster systems enable us to provide a more natural sound scape and realistic spatial information. Additionally, the exploration and further development of clinical protocols relating to individual listening needs and speech-in-noise (SIN) ability and cognitive screenings appears to be warranted. The relationship between cognitive and sensory processes (hearing, vision, tactile, smell, taste) provides fascinating information and opportunities. That is, “Hearing Care is Health Care” and “We Hear with our Brains” and “Listening is Where Hearing Meets Brain.” The primary complaint of the vast majority of all patients is not their hearing as reflected on their audiogram, it is their inability to understand speech in noise (i.e., listening). Although many of us use traditional noise reduction and directional microphones, the peer-reviewed literature indicates the benefits of these adaptive circuits (defined here as circuits which engage if and only if they improve the signal-to-noise ratio) may not be as substantial as we had hoped. Therefore, a paradigm shift in hearing aid technology offers new opportunities and improved listening utcomes, and these processes and protocols will be addressed.

IC10: Tinnitus Assessment and its Clinical Application

Ms Janice Pollard

Sunday 20 May 2018
3.30pm – 5.00pm


Although many clinicians are very confident and competent in hearing assessment and the recommendation of hearing devices they often lack the skills to fully utilise the Tinnitus Support programs that exist in many hearing devices. As 15-20% of our clients will report experiencing tinnitus it is an area that is being often neglected in terms of improving client outcomes. This is an Introductary level course to provide the foundations of Tinnitus assessment, questionnaire use and counselling for our clients. Being able to then understand the application of basic concepts of program set-up and the use of this information to assist in the set-up of tinnitus support programs in hearing aids is then explored.

The practical applications of these measurement techniques will be demonstrated and discussed.

The learning objectives of this workshop are to:
Measurement of Tinnitus and its use in Counselling

  • An understanding of the process of Tinnitus Matching and its components and their importance in counselling
  • Be able to understand the use of various Tinnitus questionnaires and their use in counselling and outcome measurement
  • Understanding how to utilise basic concepts and the Tinnitus Matching information to set up Tinnitus programs in hearing aids

IC11: Cochlear Implant Fitting – Principles to Practice

Mr Saji Maruthurkkara

Sunday 20 May 2018
3.30pm – 5.00pm


Part I – Fitting principles

Clinicians use a wide variety of fitting approaches like psychophysical measurements based fitting, streamlined fitting, NRT based fitting or ESRT based fitting with cochlear implant recipients. All of these approaches are based on the same underlying fitting principles. The theoretical basis for these principles and the evidence that support these will be discussed. A comparison of these principles will be made to the hearing aid fitting principles to look at the similarities and key differences. Although there are some differences most of the basic principles remain similar and the reasons for the differences in the fitting approaches between hearing aids and cochlear implants will be discussed. Due to some differences in the fitting approach, the verification methods employed for cochlear implant fitting varies from hearing aids and these will be described. The assessment of outcomes using objective and functional measures are important for counselling, and ongoing management for both cochlear implants and hearing aids, some of the key considerations will be discussed.

Part II – Application of fitting principles into clinical practice

The application of these fitting principles in regular clinical practice will be discussed. A clinician may choose different fitting approaches based on the need of the recipient and some considerations will be discussed. Clinical experience with some of the new tools for fitting by the clinician and also for empowerment of recipients for self-management will be discussed. The use of functional measures like the functional listening index for ongoing audiological management of both cochlear implant and hearing aid users will be discussed.

IC12: Does it always take Two? Is CI Indicated for all SSD Patients? When, how, who should be Considered for CI?

Dr Dayse Tavora-Viera & Dr Roberta Marino
Fiona Stanley Hospital

Sunday 20 May 2018
3.30pm – 5.00pm


There is strong evidence demonstrating that cochlear implantation (CI) is the only treatment option that may provide the benefits of binaural hearing in single-sided deafness (SSD) and treat tinnitus, if present. Compared to other treatment modalities, CI shows superior performance in speech understanding in noise scores and localisation ability. However, these research findings may not be always replicated in the clinical setting resulting in skeptical clinicians and unsatisfied patients.

This instructional course aims to discuss various aspects which need to be taken into account when considering CI for SSD patients. Based on 10 years of international collaborative research, we will address: candidacy, assessment/evaluation protocol, counseling, rehabilitation and mapping strategies.

At the end of this instructional course, participants will be able to:

- Reflect on the main differences between standard CI and SSD recipients.
- Work on an assessment protocol which is likely to be sensitive enough to demonstrate the limitations imposed by SSD and the benefits of CI.
- Identify strategies to help mapping process.
- Develop rehabilitation activities to assist SSD patients.

IC13: Teleaudiology: A Client's Journey to Independence

Dr Elaine Saunders assisted by Roya Alimoradian and Sally Woods
Blamey Saunders Hears

Sunday 20 May 2018
3.30pm – 5.00pm


The term Teleaudiology has a number of working definitions in Australia. There is mounting evidence that Telehealth is an effective model for health care in our aging population. However the role of Telehealth in audiology (Tele-Audiology) is not well understood, and audiologists are hesitant to adopt this approach into their own practices. We believe this reluctance stems from a lack of understanding in how to effectively apply Tele-Audiology to the client journey.

In this workshop we will aim to effective demonstrate how Teleaudiology is applied throughout the client journey in an adaptable and scale-able manner. The session will also include an introduction to the use of the blamey saunders speech perception test as an audiological tool.

IC14: Models of Auditory Rehabilitation with Adults following Cochlear Implantation: Building Empowerment

Ms Cleon Kirby

Sunday 20 May 2018
3.30pm – 5.00pm


With the plethora of auditory training materials available for adults with cochlear implants, newly implanted recipients often find it daunting to navigate their way through pathway of auditory rehabilitation. Further, packaged auditory training programs do not consider the social wellbeing, networking and building of relationships required for integrating newly developed listening skills with a range of communication partners.

This instructional course will highlight two of the approaches developed at SCIC (a service of RIDBC) to ensure recipients were given access to resources and support required to facilitate optimal cochlear implant use. A team including a family counsellor, speech and language pathologist, and two audiologists will overview the development of the programs and principles used across different SCIC sites.

Methodologies used to develop these models and to train personnel will be discussed. Results of will be presented along with Case Studies to highlight how a range of client profiles can be best served by these approaches.

Following this course participants will:
- Understand methods of identifying training needs and appropriate modalities of training
for newly implanted cochlear implant recipients
- Identify the strategies for developing social wellbeing, building relationships and
empowering cochlear implant recipients in their role as communication partners
- Develop a working knowledge of strategies to generalise auditory rehabilitation using

IC15: Clinical Research: Where to Start?

Dr Isabelle Boisvert
Dr John Newall
Maquarie University, HEARing CRC

Sunday 20 May 2018
3.30pm – 5.00pm


Research can be perceived as daunting, and disconnected from day-to-day clinical work. But it does not need to be this way. Similar to any professional competency, knowing where to find appropriate resources and developing your skills further can lead to the development of effective research designs which can contribute to existing knowledge in a constructive manner. Gaining a better understanding of sound research methodology and learning some handy tricks can help you objectively appraise different arguments.

This instructional course was developed for health professionals with a clinical degree, or early in their PhD training, who are interested in developing a strong basis for clinical research. It can also benefit clinicians who are already involved in research, but would like to further their skills and facilitate the clinical research process. The course will demystify the process of creating high quality research that can lead to an actual clinical impact.

Knowing how to develop answerable and relevant research questions, build and follow through with rigorous research designs, and use valid statistical approaches will increase your confidence in discussing and being involved in clinical research.

Learning objectives:

At the end of this instructional course, participants will be able to:
- Understand how research specific processes integrate with clinical practice and the processes underlying evidence-based practice.
- Develop answerable and relevant clinical research questions.
- Recognise common risks for biases in clinical research, and their impact.

Conference countdown


International Convention Centre Sydney - 20-23 May 2018

Platinum Sponsors

Sonova Australia - Phonak

Starkey Hearing Technologies

Gold Sponsors



Silver Sponsors


Otometrics Division of Natus

Bronze Sponsors

Cochlear Limited

Name Badges / Lanyards Sponsor


Consumer Agency Forum Sponsor

The Hearing CRC

Digital Passport Sponsor


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