New hearing aid dispensing initiative at UNM
Americas, Assistive Technology, August 16 2017
This month The University of New Mexico Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences (SHS) is launching a new campaign to help get hearing aids to those who need them.
Michael Flores, audiologist and clinical instructor at SHS, is heading up the new initiative. It’s an extension of an already existing program which provides students, staff, faculty and alumni with audiological exams. If they have concerns about their hearing, they can get a complete test at SHS for a reduced price: $25 for students, $45 for faculty and staff, and $50 for alumni.
“For the students, faculty, staff members and alumni who are obtaining the exam this is a great opportunity to acquire an unbiased assessment of their hearing without the pressure of a sales,” Flores said. “We not only provide the evaluation but also counsel on the various ways to improve hearing and communication that might not involve any assistive devices.”
If the test shows hearing loss, students, faculty, staff and alumni can receive assistive listening devices. Although SHS has been performing tests for the last four years, this is the first year it will offer hearing aid services. The devices are available through the SHS program and are eligible for a discount. The actual prices depend on the degree of hearing loss and the specific needs of the patient.
Not only does the SHS help the campus community get testing and access to technology, it also provides practical training for students.
“For our students in the SHS program, it provides a great opportunity to see first-hand the different diseases associated with the auditory system,” Flores said. “And also understand the difficulties associated with hearing loss and tinnitus and incorporate that into their clinical experiences when they graduate.”
Testing is performed Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the SHS department and can be scheduled during regular semester terms. Call 277-0443 or 277-4453 and leave a message for an appointment.