24th Annual Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology

ADULT COCHLEAR IMPLANTS: An Update on Technology, Candidacy, and Outcomes for Adults
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Course Instructor: Teresa A. Zwolan, Ph.D., CCC-A

Cochlear implants (CI) first received FDA approval for use in adults in 1985. Since that time, several advances have taken place. This includes technological advances in electrode arrays, speech processing strategies, pre-processing strategies, sound processors, device programming, and compatible assistive listening accessories. These technological advances have positively impacted outcomes, which, in turn, have influenced decisions regarding who is a suitable candidate for a cochlear implant. This course will begin with a brief historical overview of cochlear implants, followed by an in-depth review of available technology. We will discuss the evolvement of FDA approved indications for adults, with special emphasis placed on the role that professional judgement plays when making a determination about CI Candidacy. Differences between traditional and more contemporary procedures will be highlighted. Recent studies examining expansion of candidacy will also be discussed.

The course will additionally include a brief overview of medical aspects of CI that are important for audiologists to understand, including the pre-operative medical evaluation and radiographic imaging, as well as a basic discussion of CI surgery. We will discuss the post-operative procedures used to optimize performance (speech processor programming) and discuss the importance of post-operative speech recognition testing to monitor function of the surgically implanted device. The course will conclude with a discussion of clinic efficiency of CI programs, including tips for monitoring and improving clinician productivity and information regarding manufacturer programs designed to limit non-billable time. Finally, we will discuss some future developments anticipated to have a large impact on the care provided to patients who receive cochlear implants, such as remote speech processor programming, hair cell regeneration, and totally implantable cochlear implants.

AURAL REHABILITATION: For Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Course Instructor: Lindsay Zombek, MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert AVT

Cochlear implants are, for many, a life changing technology that allows people to hear sounds and conversation that they could not hear with hearing aids. However, cochlear implants bring sound to the brain in a novel way, and the brain must learn or re-learn to listen with the new device. Research shows that therapeutic intervention can improve outcomes with a cochlear implant, but this intervention is different than standard speech language pathology therapy. This presentation will provide introductory information regarding aural rehabilitation for school-aged children, teens, and adults with cochlear implants, including specific diagnostic and intervention tools, strategies, and goals.

Aural Rehabilitation for older children, teens, and adults is an area that is growing rapidly as more people are getting a cochlear implant and as more centers are recognizing the importance of therapy for teens and adults post cochlear implantation. Recipients of cochlear implants, regardless of age, often have challenges with listening with the new device. Neural connections in the brain must be formed in order for people to hear clearly with a cochlear implant. Research demonstrates that aural rehabilitation and auditory training are beneficial to help strengthen auditory skills at any age. Furthermore, research demonstrates that auditory training and aural rehabilitation can lead to greater satisfaction with amplification which can impact frequency of use of the device. Aural Rehabilitation targets reducing auditory skill deficits, empowering users through education regarding advocacy and how to use their device, and helping people successfully navigate their lives and communication at home, school, work, and the community. These areas of deficit are frequently the root cause of concerns reported by recipients of a new cochlear implant. These concerns often involve listening in noise, talking on the telephone, music appreciation, group conversations, and listening at school or work.

Traditional speech language pathology and audiology evaluation is not sufficient because aural rehabilitation involves auditory skills, advocacy, technology, and functional communication. Appropriate evaluation/diagnostic tools will be presented for school-aged children, teens, and adults. Auditory skills follow a developmental model whether the new listener is an infant or an elderly adult. Therapeutic intervention that is developmentally appropriate yet age appropriate will be discussed. This course serves as an introduction to aural rehabilitation for school-aged children, teens, and adults. The unique challenges that separate teens and adults from young children who receive cochlear implants will be discussed. In addition, considerations for therapeutic intervention for special populations will be explored. Common auditory deficits and frequent complaints and concerns reported by teens and adults will be discussed. Diagnostic materials, therapy strategies, techniques, and goals for school-aged children, teens, and adults will be introduced to participants.


  • When

  • Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - Thursday, September 7, 2017
    7:30 AM - 3:45 PM
    Eastern Time

  • Where

  • JFK Conference Center
    70 James Street
    Edison, New Jersey 08820

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