Scientific Tracks Abstracts: Commun Disord Deaf Stud Hearing Aids
Hearing services are often not available to children and adults in many countries, especially for those with disabilities or living in
rural areas. A variety of populations in Brazil, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were tested using a combination of
otoscopy, otoacoustic emissions, and tympanometry during annual humanitarian service trips. Those who failed or could not be tested
using the testing protocol were then followed up with pure tone audiometry on-site. Populations tested include: 1) Adults living in
nursing homes, 2) children and adults with special needs, 3) children and adults with HIV+ or AIDS, 4) adults with recreational drug
addiction, 5) children living in orphanages, and 6) children living in rural areas. The test results indicated most of these populations,
except children living in an orphanage in Taiwan or adults with drug addiction, exhibited high incidences of excessive cerumen,
middle-ear problems, and/or hearing loss. The rate of referral was as high as 50% in some populations. These results combined with
the fact that many of the individual tested have never had their ears or hearing checked highlight the tremendous need for regular
and quality hearing services for these underserved or unserved populations.
King Chung is an Associate Professor of Audiology at Northern Illinois University. She has been leading students onto humanitarian research and service trips every
summer. Past destinations include Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brazil, China, and Cambodia. A researcher at heart, she publishes information on the hearing systems in the visited
countries/regions and the hearing status of individuals tested during the trips to raise the awareness of the great demand for hearing services in different countries. The long
term goal is to facilitate the provision of frequent and high quality hearing services to underserved and unserved populations around the world.