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Conference leads way in research and clinical practice for deaf people

11 Sep 2010

The University of Manchester’s School of Psychological Sciences hosted the annual conference of the British Society of Audiology (BSA).

About 400 people, from as far afield as Australia and North America, attended the conference, which brought together researchers, practitioners, charities and leading international industries working on deafness and hearing-related disorders in children and adults.

Dr Kevin Munro, Reader in Audiology within the School of Psychological Sciences, newly appointed Vice-Chair of BSA and Chair of the conference organising committee, said: “It is time to build on the strong synergies that can be gained by bringing together these different groups of individuals.”

The World Health Organisation estimates that there are about 300 million hearing-impaired people worldwide and this number is rising due to a growing global population and longer life expectancy.  Deafness is the third leading chronic disability after arthritis and hypertension in the western world and most individuals, or members of their family, will attend an audiology service at some point in their life. In fact, the NHS is the largest purchaser of hearing aids in the world, buying around 800,000 a year at a cost of some £60 million. 

Dr Munro said: “Strengthening links between lab-based researchers and heath care practitioners should break down professional barriers, increase knowledge and ultimately improve the quality of life for deaf people.  Also, providing a welcoming environment for researchers to meet with leading international industries will help foster collaborations: many companies are willing to fund high-quality independent research and it is important that we capitalise on these opportunities in these difficult financial times.” 

The conference, which took place at University Place from September 8 to 10, had about 180 presentations (20 by researchers within the School of Psychological Sciences), as well as clinical workshops, round-table discussions and breakout sessions. Abstracts will be published in the International Journal of Audiology.

Ends

Notes for editors

Manchester's School of Psychological Sciences is a leading provider of audiology education in the UK. Along with speech language therapy, the discipline obtained a superb rating of 91% for overall student satisfaction in this year’s National Student Survey. The School is also the leading UK higher education institute in applied hearing research and receives substantial research funding from industrial partners.

For further information contact:

Aeron Haworth
Media Relations
Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences
The University of Manchester

Tel: 0161 275 8383
Email: aeron.haworth@manchester.ac.uk