Audiology education and practice vary considerably across countries. In North America and some parts of Europe it is well developed and considered as an autonomous profession. However, in most part of the world Audiology is still in its infancy and seen as a technical area that is part of otolaryngology, acoustics and so on.
According to the World Report on Hearing produced by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1.5 billion people experience some decline in their hearing capacity during their life course, of whom at least 430 million will require hearing care. Moreover, it is suggested that over 80% of this population live in low and middle-income countries where there is very little access to any audiological services. Hence, there is much work to be done in audiology to bridge this inequality in education and access to services.
Moreover, much can be learned even within the developed world comparing audiology practice across countries and taking inspirations from good working practices. We believe the first step in bridging this gap is to better understand the audiology education and practice and to connect audiologists across the world. Hence, this forum may play an important role in developing audiology globally.
Global Audiology will utilize two methods to accomplish its goal: (1) develop an internet website that provides information about audiology across the globe; (2) recruit key individuals who will volunteer to serve as resource editors and key contact people for the country or region. The website will provide up to date information about audiology education and practice in the regions across the world. The project will work with the following structure: •Co-founders and Senior Editors (SE) •Regional Resource Editors (RRE)
The MISSION of Global Audiology is to provide readily available information focused on history, status, and current audiological practices world-wide to all stakeholders in hearing healthcare.
The PROCESS used is through the dissemination of information with an easily accessible, user-friendly website that includes all aspects of audiological history, available services, education and training, and current research in each region of the world. Included, is the identification of regional and country editors who have volunteered to be resources for those wanting information for the geographic areas they represent.
The GOAL is to facilitate promote the advancement and standardization of audiological practices, particularly in developing countries and to educate potential consumers of the availability of audiological care in their geographic region.