It wasn't an ordinary development event because it began with two significant farewells by the President, Peter Sydserff. First of all he paid tribute to Barry Downes, organiser of the day, who decided to step
down from Council and from the Professional Development Committee after more years of service to the Society than most people can remember. To a standing ovation from delegates. Barry received a gift from the Society in recognition of his contribution over the years. And Peter then told his audience that this was Alan Torbet's last appearance as the BSHAA Chief Executive - he's retiring at the end of March. Alan was also presented with a gift.
In his opening presentation the President briefly outined the challenges facing the Society and its members in the coming months and years.
Professor David Welbourn, BSHAA's CEO
Professor David Welbourn, BSHAA's CEO was next to speak. He asked his audience to consider the questions: 'What is it about the Society that members value, and how much does it matter to clients whether their audiologist belongs to the Society? What were the key priorities for the Society over the next year and beyond that for the next five years, to ensure that both its members and the public would continue to benefit from the Society’s work to champion the profession?" David told his audience that their answers to these questions would shape his priorities as the new Chief Executive.
Mr James Tysome MA, PhD, FRCS(ORL-HNS) Consultant ENT and Skull Base Surgeon Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Otology update and when to refer
With BSHAA guidance on medical referral criteria being currently under review, Mr Tysome explained the significance of referable conditions and updated delegates on current medical and surgical treatments for some conditions associated with hearing loss. He also urged them not to be shy about referring direct to ENT saying Audiologists new more about the ear than GPs.
Prof Stuart Rosen Professor of Speech & Hearing Science University College London
Understanding speech in background noise: The essentials for every audiology practitioner
The speech we hear is usually in a background of interfering sounds which can often make communication difficult. As for any skill, people vary widely in their ability to understand speech in background noise." So Professor Rosen told his audience explaining that for certain groups of people – young children, older people, second-language speakers and hearing-impaired people – the difficulties could be severe. Only recently had there begun to emerge a conceptual understanding that could begin to explain the myriad factors that influenced a person’s ability in this domain. A crucial distinction seemed to be among so-called 'energetic', ‘modulation’ and 'informational' masking. Not only did these operate at different places in the auditory pathway, they also undergwent different developmental trends. Energetic and modulation masking required interactions between the target and masker within the auditory periphery, but informational masking did not. View a pdf of his presentation slides
Rory Kewney. Member of the BSHAA Professional Development Committee & Professional Development Director, Age UK Hearing Aids
Speech in noise tests – The why, the what and the how
How should you assess whether your client is likely to be able to hear in noise with the hearing aid system you recommend? Why do cancellations happen despite your best efforts with the very latest technology available? What can help you personalise your rehabilitation planning more precisely? Speech in noise tests can help compensate for what the pure tone audiogram cannot tell you. Rory explained why dispensers should be using the Quick SIN and ANL tests as a routine part of their pre-fitting assessment.
Jean Straus, Writer, broadcaster and campaigner
How I became an expert at being a person who can't hear
Jean told her audience how she lost her hearing suddenly twice but at different times, which eventually ended her career as a teacher. This led her to become involved in trying to understand her new world as a deafened adult and so she became a writer and campaigner for both Action on Hearing Loss and Hearing Link. Jean explained how she was learning to become an expert at being a person who can’t hear with all its attendant issues.