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This session is designed to address the current definitions of "functional hearing loss," those patients that present with 'normal' audiograms but express difficulty listening. A number of concepts will be explored including current World Health Organization (WHO) direction on functional communication, the concept of subclinical hearing loss, and issues in quantifying and qualifying aspects of communication for this population. Assessment protocols will be discussed. Treatment and management of patients with functional hearing loss will be offered. Cases will be presented to enhance learning.

Gail Whitelaw

The Role of Audiology in addressing "functional" hearing loss

Gail M. Whitelaw, Ph.D. is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Director of the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.  Her clinical interests are in auditory processing issues in both children and adults (specifically mild traumatic brain injury), tinnitus and sound tolerance issues, and professional leadership.  She provides direct patient care and is a preceptor to Doctor of Audiology (AuD) students. Dr. Whitelaw is a past-president of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Academy of Audiology.  She currently serves as the Secretary-Treasurer on the Accreditation Council for Audiology Education (ACAE) and serves on the Academy’s Honors and Awards Committee.  She serves on a task force using interprofessional practice (IPP) best practices in stroke care with the National Academies of Practice (NAP). Outside of her professional interests, she does Improv comedy and is always looking for opportunities to combine her love of audiology with her love of improv!

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