Audiology Department Communication and Sciences Disorders Training Program

Description of Training Program:

The Audiology Department accepts trainees at the pre-Doctoral and post-Doctoral levels. The department’s goals mirror the Institute’s goals of training professionals within and across disciplines, offering exceptional clinical services to patients and their families, conducting outreach, and developing and undertaking research activities. The Department of Audiology is housed within the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CS&D) Program which also includes the Speech Language Pathology and the Assistive Technology Departments. Trainees may be offered the position through the MCHB/LEND program.

Perhaps the highest compliment to the training program is the number of current and past staff who spent time at KKI as trainees and remained or returned to participate in training the next generation of professionals. Other trainees have gone on to apply their skills at hospitals, clinics, private practices, and research and academic institutions.

Currently, the Audiology Program supports one trainee per semester to fulfill clinical training requirements of the second or third year of their doctoral program. At least 3 days per week is preferred.

Consideration of positions for fourth- year doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows will be made on an as needed basis.

Training:

The Audiology Department encourages staff members and trainees at all levels to participate in the numerous Institute-sponsored training activities, as well as those offered in the Program. Trainees plan activities with their direct supervisors to meet their needs and fulfill requirements specified on the Individual Training Plan (ITP). Trainee’s schedules are arranged to allow them to attend the weekly Core Course conferences that are sponsored by the Training Office. These 90-minute seminars focus on specific topics of interest to staff at KKI.

The Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Departments are approved as a continuing Education Provider by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), a national professional organization, to offer continuing education credits for sponsored or co-sponsored presentations. Presentations include numerous one- and two-day workshops by nationally recognized speakers as well as seminars offered within the CS&D Program.

Seminars have been planned to address special patient populations (e.g., Down Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders), as well as issues that cut across specific patient characteristics or diagnoses (e.g., working within an interdisciplinary team area, meeting family and sibling needs). Some are presented by staff within a single discipline area, while others illustrate the team process by having staff from several different disciplines describe their interrelated clinical and research roles.

The Audiology Department also has had seminars offered by staff from local training programs in Audiology as well as presentations by hearing aid and equipment manufacturer representatives. The seminars focus on keeping abreast of new technological developments in audiology. Current staff members within their special areas of expertise may also teach sessions. Staff are asked to present theoretical issues and to address practical concerns that audiologists encounter while working with hearing impaired children. This seminar series has multiple goals, including: providing staff with additional depth or breadth on topics they may only have been introduced to, providing opportunities for networking and communication among trainees, and allowing trainees and current staff to meet and discuss areas of common concern.

Clinical Services

Trainees report selecting Kennedy Krieger Institute as a placement because of the unique opportunities it provides for building or polishing clinical skills, under the supervision of highly skilled, caring professionals. Across all settings, the Program’s meshing of functional and developmental perspectives is apparent in assessment and treatment services.

Trainees are paired with an ASHA-certified, state-licensed staff member to deliver clinical services in outpatient and inpatient settings during their semester-long stay. This allows the graduate students to hone their skills and adapt to patient, family, and situational demands. Clinical activities include audiologic evaluations and screenings, hearing aid fittings and performance assessments, auditory processing evaluations, and evoked potential measurements. The patient population includes children, adolescents, and some adults who have neurodevelopmental disabilities. These include mental retardation, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, seizure disorders, head and spinal cord injuries, ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, and other disorders. The Program accepts pre-doctoral trainees and Postdoctoral Fellows, who have limited or extensive clinical experience. Program faculty work with pre-doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows to design single-semester or year-long programs tailored to meet their individual research opportunities in the future.

Outreach Activities

Over the past few years, the CS&D Program staff has participated in outreach activities in the community. These activities have included assembling materials about speech, language, and hearing development for local preschools; participating in Career Day presentations for high school students; providing training about communication development to teenage mothers; sponsoring a seminar for local professionals; and demonstrating communication and amplification equipment at school and health fairs. Trainees have participated in some of these activities, paired with one or more mentors from the Program. Demonstrating this professional role for trainees has become increasingly important, in a time when parent and professional education may dictate whether or not a patient receives services, as well as the quality or intensity of services offered. Learning what questions and issues people in the community are facing has also helped improve the service delivery, at KKI and in partnership with the community.

Research

Audiology staff are involved in research as an integral component of the Program. Audiology faculty have participated in research activities such as serving on dissertation committees for doctoral candidates at the Johns Hopkins University, grant writing, collecting and analyzing data for on-going NIH funded research, conducting research studies, collaborating with other faculty at KKI and JHU on research activities and documenting case studies for publication.

Application Guidelines

 Qualifications for applying to the program include affiliation with an Audiology Program at a regionally accredited institution of higher education and training and experience in clinical applications of audiology in hospital, educational, or community settings.

Prior to beginning a graduate placement in audiology, a university agreement or contract must be in effect, specifying the roles and responsibilities of Kennedy Krieger Institute and the student’s university. Kennedy Krieger Institute maintains on-going relationships with several universities for graduate student placements. Universities or graduate students considering at graduate placement at Kennedy Krieger Institute should contact KKI at least one semester before the intended placement would occur.

If selected for the Program, additional application requirements as specified by the Institute’s Training Program will need to be satisfied.

Interested students or student advisors interested in placing a student in the program should contact:

Joseph P. Pillion, PhD
pillion@kennedykrieger.org

or

Dorothy E. Shiffler, AuD
shiffler@kennedykrieger.org