Dear Editor:

March 3 was recognized as World Hearing Day, raising awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss. 

Members of the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NJSHA) can think of no month more appropriate for Gov. Phil Murphy to sign a law that would increase access to professional hearing evaluations for the hearing impaired. Current law requires an audiologist to maintain an audiology license and a hearing aid dispenser license. 

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Proposed bill, S. 746, which provides for an audiologist to maintain one license, has garnered unanimous support through the legislative process, as lawmakers recognize that audiologists must go through extensive training to earn a doctorate degree in audiology. NJSHA with the assistance of the New Jersey Academy of Audiology, has actively worked over the past several years to support the proposed bill. The proposed bill eliminates the two-license barrier for audiologists and will make it possible to attract both audiology students and practitioners to New Jersey.  The single license is currently maintained in 36 other states and provides greater accessibility and choice to consumers. Prevention of hearing loss continues to be a national concern for people of all ages.  Audiologists are the sole health professional to test and treat hearing loss as well as balance problems.

NJSHA encourages you to seek the help of an audiologist if you or a loved one has a hearing loss as well as balance problems, in order to improve their overall health and quality of life.

MaryKate Vaughn, Audiologist

Member of New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Cranford, NJ