Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate students who are members of the registered student organization, Student Academy of Audiology (SAA), recently completed hearing screenings at a local day care. These screenings, which evaluated all parts of the ear were conducted on approximately 60 children between the ages of 3 and 5 years.
SAA is the national student organization associated with the American Academy of Audiology, which advocates for students pursuing careers in audiology. The SAA “introduces students to lifelong involvement in activities that promote and advance the profession of audiology and that provide services, information, education, representation and advocacy for the profession and for consumers of audiology services,” (SAA, 2018).
Volunteering is a vital pillar to SAA. It provides opportunities to apply content learned in the classroom to the real world and our community. Through volunteering, students educate others about hearing loss and related issues. Christy Mahrt, the community outreach coordinator said, “Volunteerism is an important attribute that helps develop us as professionals, builds character, and fosters love for people and our communities.” Other activities that members of SAA participate in include career fairs, College Mentors for Kids, Special Olympics Healthy Hearing, and fundraising for local and national organizations. Donations have been made to the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic, Painted Turtle Camp, and Chicago Hearing Society. The ISU SAA chapter welcomes undergraduate members who express a focused interest in audiology. Enrichment opportunities provided to undergraduate students include clinical observation, mentoring, and hands on practice with equipment.