Volume 25, No.1, June 2015, ISSN 1171-4999
Edited by Lan Weir
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President's Message

Welcome to our first edition of the NZAS e-Bulletin – to be provided to both members and the public online via our website. This is an exciting time for the NZAS as our Bulletin turns digital, which will allow for easy access to articles, interactive advertising, and significantly quicker publication times. The e-Bulletin will have a dedicated place on our website to ensure current and previous editions can be accessed with ease. We trust that you will enjoy browsing the articles held within, and that this new format will be well used and supported by the membership going forward.

My term as President is quickly coming to an end and it is hard to imagine that we are already nearing the end of June. With only three weeks until our annual conference the Executive Council (EC) are working hard to complete a number of tasks leading up to this event including, our Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on the 2nd of July.  I wish to acknowledge at this time all the hard work conducted by our 2015 Conference Committee as well as the work of Rosemary Mahoney from BPSL who have been working tirelessly to ensure that this gathering will function without a hitch. I’m sure that you will agree with me that the line-up of international and national key-note speakers that have been arranged on our behalf will create an extremely informative and engaging conference which I am personally very much looking forward to. If you haven’t done so already please remember to register now for this event which can be done via the NZAS Website. 

A report on the progress of the NZAS Conference can be found in this issue of the e-Bulletin.

As always we encourage all members to attend the General Business session which will be held the morning before the AGM. This is a particularly important session that will focus on updating the membership on a number of key projects and activities that have been undertaken by the Executive Council and various committees over the last 12 months. These will include updates on the Audiometrists' process, Paediatric Certification, APD Reference group, adoption of the ASA Standards of Practice and changes to our Code of Ethics. We are also very fortunate to have an update from the Newborn Hearing Screening Unit and a round-up of activities and projects currently being undertaken by the National Foundation of the Deaf (NFD). These presentations will provide the membership with a great opportunity to gain further understanding of these projects in a forum where questions can be asked and discussion made possible.

The NZAS Annual Report and associated documents have been sent out to members and provide you with much of the information needed for discussion at the AGM and during the General Business Sessions.  It contains our committee reports, remits that have been proposed for the AGM, the annual accounts and the 2016 proposed Budget, as well as details of those who have been nominated for the 2015/2016 Executive Council. Vacant positions for the EC this year are President Elect, Secretary/Treasurer and up to 4 Council Members. 

My term as President has been an interesting yet very rewarding one and I feel very privileged to have been part of the 2014/2015 Executive Council. I would like to take this time to thank the NZAS membership for their feedback and engagement with the EC this year, along with the members of the EC who have provided support and encouragement regarding many of the activities and projects that have been undertaken during this term. It has been great working alongside you all! I look forward to meeting new faces and talking with many of you at this year’s Conference in July.

With kind regards,

Mike Severn

What's in this issue:

Oticon Foundation grant for Conference keynote speaker

NZAS is thrilled to confirm that the Oticon Foundation has approved a grant to bring Sara K. Mamo to deliver two keynote presentations at the the July Annual NZAS conference. Sara, who is a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head/Neck Surgery, states her research interests include the aging auditory system and speech perception deficits among older adults. 

The support of organisations such as the Oticon Foundation is imperative to ensure that members of NZAS are familiar with current practices, research and technology. One of the key ways this can be achieved is by bringing overseas experts to the conference to share knowledge. 

Sara will be presenting at the 2015 event for the first time and will be presenting two key sessions: the first being the latest epidemiological research findings in support of the potential impact of treating hearing loss on healthy aging; the second being auditory temporal pressing in older adults.

Click here for our updated programme 
Click here for more about NZAS Conference 2015 keynote speakers


Sara has also suggested that conference delegates should look at Dr. Lin's research group. "My research projects fall under this group, and my talks will broadly present previous and current work going on in our labs."

NZAS would like to thank the Oticon Foundation for its grant for Sara Mamo’s airfare, accommodation and expenses for the duration of the NZAS 39th annual conference.


The New Zealand Federation for Deaf Children (NZFDC)

The New Zealand Federation for Deaf Children (NZFDC) was set up in 1976 by parents of deaf and hard of hearing children.  We are a registered incorporated society and our Executive Committee and Member Groups are run by volunteers who are themselves all parents of deaf or hard of hearing children. 

The objective of NZFDC is to promote, carry out and coordinate measures conducive to the welfare of deaf and hard of hearing children and their families. Much of NZFDC's recent work has focused on ensuring that such children have appropriate access to the education curriculum and social experiences within the schooling environment, and connect with other deaf and hard of hearing families.

We offer such things as Information Kits for families of newly diagnosed deaf and hard of hearing children, Tutor Fee Assistance, Assistive Devices support, Annual Scholarships for Tertiary students and Excellence and Sports Awards for Secondary School Students.

We advocate for our parents and are deeply involved with specific services for deaf and hard of hearing children at a ministerial level. 

We maintain very close links with the National Foundation for the deaf, Deaf Aotearoa NZ (which includes the youth group Magnet), the Deaf Resource Centres and Deaf Sports and also with such groups as Sign Language Teachers and Sign Language Interpreters.

The problem of consistent hearing aid use in toddlers

A study investigated predictors of hearing aid (HA) use time for children with mild-to-severe hearing loss (HL). Barriers to consistent HA use and reliability of parent report measures were also examined.

Contributing to the research is Dr Mary Pat Moeller, keynote speaker at this year's NZAS conference. See Walker et al as per this link.

Walker et al 2013 Predictors of HA use time

Dr Mary Pat Moeller, Ph.D., is Director of the Center for Childhood Deafness at Boys Town National Research Hospital (BTNRH) in Omaha, NE.  After many years of clinical work in rehabilitative Audiology, she obtained a Ph.D. in child language and deafness from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  Her research interests include theory of mind development, and speech and language outcomes including early word learning in children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Dr Moeller has also been developing a consensus paper following a meeting in Austria.  She has continued to work with Dr. Daniel Holzinger and other colleagues around the world to promote best practice in early intervention and share resources.  They are developing a website to support this effort, and conducting a survey to identify practice gaps.  (See JDSDE article – Moeller is first author).

Dr Moeller has also published work on:
She also has an entire supplement volume for Ear and Hearing that is currently in review – we expect it later this year – it will summarize 5 years of work their team did on a longitudinal study of the outcomes of children who wear hearing aids. 
And, in her spare time, she has been updating!

Model Behavior Change: Taking Cues from Health Psychology

This particular paper sets the scene for The Hearing Journal special series on revolutionizing audiologic rehabilitation through health and social psychology approaches, which is based on a preconference workshop Kathy Pichora-Fuller and her colleagues presented during the 17th Annual Canadian Academy of Audiology Conference and Exposition. For the full journal reference click here.

Toronto-based Kathy Pichora-Fuller is a Full Professor of Psychology at UTM, an Adjunct Scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Hospital in Toronto. Her research is funded by NSERC and CIHR, including being the hearing expert for the Canadian Longitudinal Study of Aging. She is now translating her lab-based research on auditory and cognitive aging to address the needs of older adults who suffer from both hearing and cognitive impairments. 

Kathy is going to be presenting two keynote presentations at the upcoming NZAS Conference. 

Other journal article of interest Revolutionizing Audiologic Rehabilitation.


Spectacular venue for NZAS Conference dinner


Planning to attend the NZAS conference? This year’s conference dinner is not to be missed!

Just a stone’s throw from the conference venue, Viaduct Events Centre, the centrally-located Voyager Maritime Museum is the stunning venue chosen for the conference dinner. Centrally located with its expansive harbour views on the waterfront of Auckland’s sparkling Waitemata Harbour, it is within easy walking distance from the conference venue.

The conference dinner is going to be themed as mid-winter Christmas. Guests will no doubt enjoy dinner entertainment by The Mermaids – one of New Zealand’s most established and esteemed dance bands featuring three female vocalists. Get there when doors open at 7pm Friday 3 July!

We would like to give a very special thanks to ReSound who are sponsors of this year’s dinner event, making it a night to remember!

Study: The Relationship between Tinnitus and Craniocervical Musculoskeletal Dysfunction 

Tinnitus is a phantom perception of sound, commonly described as a ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling, and humming sound in the head or ears. It is a very common, yet poorly understood condition. Tinnitus can occur due to any form of malfunction occurring along the auditory pathways. Chronic tinnitus possibly occurs from a cascade of changes occurring at various cortical and subcortical centres potentially starting with: dysfunction of cochlear receptors or reduced spontaneous firing rate of the auditory nerve fibers, leading to compensation for this reduction, with an increase in central gain.

Craniocervical musculoskeletal disorder is an umbrella term covering several disorders related to cranium (head), cervical (neck), muscles, joints, ligaments, nerves, tendons, and structures supporting neck and back. A causal connection between tinnitus and craniocervial musculoskeletal disorder in some tinnitus patients has been suggested. Reißhauer et al (2006) investigated the relationship between tinnitus and functional disturbances of the cervical spine and found that patients with tinnitus had specific patterns of abnormalities in the joints and paravertebral muscles. Disturbed functions of segmental joints of the head and the cervicothoracic junction as well as muscular imbalances of the shoulder and neck muscles were reported along with tinnitus.

Read Full Study here >

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