National Hearing Conservation Association
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Webinar: Auditory Fitness for Duty Evaluations
Thursday, January 23, 2020, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT
Category: Webinars

Webinar: Auditory Fitness for Duty Evaluations

When: Thursday, January 23, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm ET

The ability to detect, recognize, discriminate and/or localize speech and other sounds in a variety of acoustic environments can be essential for safe and effective performance for some jobs. Examples include, but are not limited to, military service and most public safety jobs (police, security, firefighting). For individuals who show normal pure tone thresholds, it may be reasonable to infer that their auditory function will also be normal. However, the reverse is not always true. There are many people with abnormal audiograms who can functional well enough to perform a specific job safely and effectively. Furthermore, normal hearing and/or normal auditory function may not be required—performance standards should be based on the demands of the job. When hearing function is in question, functional testing is the best way to determine whether or not an individual retains the sensory capability to perform the duties and responsibilities of a particular job in a safe and effective manner. In our opinion, audiologists are uniquely suited to develop testing protocols that reflect the essential functions of the job, as well as to determine at what level an individual must perform in order to be considered auditorily “fit for duty.” This overview seeks to outline factors that may be important to consider in an “auditory fitness for duty evaluation.”

Learner Outcomes:

After this course, participants will be able to...

1. Describe the two determining factors which aid in determining essential job functions (those that effect the functions, skills, and abilities, that would have a significant negative impact on the ability to complete the mission in a safe and effective manner).

2. Identify three methods used to identify essential job functions in the workplace.

3. Compare the difference between hearing critical tasks of detection, localization, discrimination and recognition.

4. Identify three hearing critical occupations and identify one example of an essential job function associated with each.

5. Compare and contrast the difference between clinical and in-situ/functional measurements; describe why both are recommended for auditory fitness for duty determinations.

Lynn E. Cook, AuD, FAAA
Occupational Audiologist
Board Certified in Audiology

I received my BS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Virginia in 1977, going straight through to earn my Masters in Audiology at UVa in 1979. I worked for 7 years as an educational audiologist at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton, VA. Since 1987, I have worked for the US Navy as an occupational audiologist/hearing conservation program manager in the DC area. In 2002, I was awarded my doctorate in audiology from Salus University. I have had an interest in and have been involved in auditory fitness for duty (AFFD) determinations for many years, and have served on a number of related working groups, committees, and panels. I have served as a consultant to the Federal Office of Personnel Management for many cases where hearing loss was a factor in determination of medical qualifications for civilian job placement and/or retention. I have spoken on this topic in a variety of forums, nationally as well as locally. In 2003 I authored a chapter on hearing loss and fitness for duty in the Clinics in Occupational and Environmental Medicine special issue on law enforcement worker health, and I co-wrote a chapter on AFFD for the next edition of the CAOHC manual. For 7 years, I taught a graduate-level course in Industrial Noise at the University of Maryland, which included a section in Occupational Audiology and AFFD.
COL Amy A. Blank, AuD
Office of the Surgeon General
COL Amy Blank is an audiologist and has served in the US Army for over 31 years, on active duty, in the Reserves and the Wisconsin National Guard, and as a civilian employee. COL Blank earned her Bachelors of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in 1990, her Master’s Degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1993 and her Doctorate of Audiology (Au.D.) from Central Michigan University in 2008. She is currently serving as the Audiology Staff Officer, Deputy Chief of Staff – Public Health and is the Consultant to the Surgeon General for Audiology. She was previously assigned at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Fort Campbell, Fort Rucker, Fort Bragg, Korea and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. While primarily serving as an audiologist in the military, COL Blank has also held positions as the Chief of Preventive Medicine, Troop Commander, Intermediate Level Education (ILE) Instructor, Executive Officer and Public Health Emergency Officer. She is a past president of the Military Audiology Association (MAA) and the Joint
Defense Veterans Audiology Association (JDVAA) and is the President of the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA). COL Blank is married to CW5 John Blank and they have two children, Sarah age 18 and John age 11.
Instructional personnel disclosures

Lynn Cook has no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose.
Amy Blank has no relevant financial or nonfinancial relationships to disclose

Registration Fee:
$20 Member
$10 Student Members
$35 Non-member
NHCA is approved by the following organizations:

Contact: [email protected]