In August 2016, students and faculty of the Long Island Doctor of Audiology Consortium, which offers a clinical doctorate in audiology through the cooperation of Adelphi University, Hofstra University and St. John’s University, traveled to India for 10 days to provide free hearing healthcare and services to underserved communities. During the program, made possible by The Starkey Hearing Foundation as part of their Global Based Hearing HealthCare Program “So The World May Hear,” the group traveled to Mumbai, Delhi, Nagpur, Arga, and Hyderbad. The group provided primary ear care services, assisted in the community outreach to identify patients and, when appropriate, fit hearing aids and made custom ear molds for qualified candidates. This program complemented a similar effort in Vietnam in January 2016, also made possible by The Starkey Hearing Foundation.
The LI Au.D. Consortium values international clinical experiences for their students. “As Clinical Program Coordinator for the LI Au.D. Consortium, one of my primary responsibilities is to develop clinical affiliations and experiences that will provide the students with clinical opportunities that help broaden their practical scope,” explains Ianthe Murad, Sc.D.
Students and professors from the LI Au.D. Consortium also had the opportunity to work with and learn from Audiology students and faculty from the University of Osmania in Hyderabad. “This was a highlight of our 10 days in India,” says Dr. Murad. The local students and professors served as translators while the group examined and fit hearing aids on patients together. Students bonded as they shared and compared audiology program curriculums and procedures in their respective countries.
Interacting with patients daily, students witnessed the impact they will make as future clinicians. For many of the children, this was their first opportunity to receive hearing services. “I remember a young girl, around the age of seven, who received her first hearing aids from the Starkey Hearing Foundation two years ago,” recalls Ms. Krupi Shah, a third year Adelphi Au.D. Student who just returned from the India Program. “When she first received her hearing aids, she was struggling in school and did not speak. Now, two years later, her teacher shared the dramatic improvements she has made since she had received the hearing aids. She was speaking, solving mathematical problems, doing better in school and all around happier, she even performed a traditional Indian dance for us. Just two years ago, this would not have been possible. I think it was at that moment when it really hit me, the great impact of what I was doing. Not only did we have the opportunity to help people, but we had the ability to change their lives. I feel so grateful to have had this opportunity with my program, to be a part of something so wonderful, I will forever be grateful.”
This global experience uniquely encourages students to adopt new solutions when resources are limited. Moreover, their intellectual point of view begins to shape and even stretches with each patient that they encounter. All of the students who participated in the program have responded positively that they had significant gains not only in their clinical skills but gains in their clinical confidence skills. Adelphi University would like to thank the Starkey Hearing Foundation for making this program possible, especially to the founders, William and Tani Austin (pictured in the top photo).
For more information about the LI Au.D. Consortium and future collaborations with The Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit audiology.adelphi.edu.