Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the planned delivery of this course starting in September 2020 will be online with limited access to onsite lab experiences.
PLEASE NOTE: In response to this evolving situation, the delivery, learning activities and evaluation methods may be further modified mid-semester.
Learners will require access to high-speed internet, a computer with a built-in or external web camera, a microphone and Google Chrome or Firefox as a web browser for online learning.
Hearing Instrument Specialist is a three-year, six-semester advanced diploma program that uses the latest technology to train students to work in this field.
As our population ages, there is greater demand for highly qualified hearing instrument specialists who can provide a client-centred approach to better hearing health care. Our vision is to be the leader in preparing hearing professionals with applied and academic skills and competencies.
Students will develop clinical skills that will enable them to not only test hearing, but to select and fit hearing aids.
Graduates will have a strong foundation in the theory and skills related to the hearing instrument sciences, such as:
- audiometric testing
- hearing aid technology
The curriculum offers significant opportunities for applied learning. To help prepare our graduates for employment, we offer additional courses that cover key contemporary topics including:
- health promotion
- business management
Have an Existing Credential?
Applicants who have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree or a diploma in a Health Sciences, Social Sciences, or a related field, with an overall average of B minus (or 2.7 GPA or 70%) may be considered for advanced standing into the third semester of the program.
Your Field Education Options
Field placement is a key component of this program as it allows students to apply classroom theory while working with real patients.
This program offers both an internal and an external placement during Semester 6.
Students will conduct a 21-hour placement onsite at our state-of-the-art WAVE Hearing Clinic (Hearing Clinic IV). During this time they will practice treating members of the public, including George Brown students, by performing the day-to-day tasks of a Hearing Instrument Specialist (e,g, testing hearing, fitting hearing aids and providing client counselling).
The more substantial of the two placements takes place in the second half of the final semester. Students will work offsite with a community partner for seven weeks (equivalent to 245 clinic hours) and will once again perform the day-to-day tasks of a Hearing Instrument Specialist.
PLEASE NOTE: Students are responsible for finding their own field experience opportunities but will be supported in this process by program faculty.
External field education generally occurs in the broader Greater Toronto Area, so travel will be required. Students should be aware that field education opportunities may be located anywhere within the province, especially if suitable opportunities cannot be found in Toronto and surrounding areas. Students are responsible for travel and other associated costs related to external field education opportunities.
Program Learning Outcomes
The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:
- Administer a battery of hearing tests and analyze the results of these tests based on a thorough knowledge of functional anatomy and within the current scope of practice of a Hearing Instrument Specialist.
- Obtain an accurate ear mould impression based on an otoscopic examination.
- Advocate and effectively communicate to a diverse audience the psycho-social implications of hearing loss.
- Design a hearing health care plan incorporating health promotion, rehabilitation and appropriate referrals based on comprehensive client history, observation and counselling.
- Verify the benefits of the recommended devices, utilizing appropriate technology.
- Fit and adjust the hearing devices using available technology and based on client observation, acoustical needs and counselling.
- Teach the use and maintenance of hearing aids and/or assistive listening devices to clients and others.
- Maintain, repair and modify assistive hearing devices for optimal performance.
- Recommend appropriate hearing devices based on a comparison of manufacturers’ specifications and features and compatibility with other assistive listening devices.
- Treat, counsel and communicate effectively with all clients, utilizing knowledge of the aging process as required.
- Perform all roles and responsibilities as a Hearing Instrument Specialist in accordance with accepted professional, ethical and legislative standards of the health care system.
- Determine effective management practices for the operations of a Hearing Aid Dispensary, including but not limited to accounting, health and safety practices, marketing, and business and resource planning.
- Research and evaluate current community and government resources, new technologies and medical advances available for the benefit of the client.
- Participate collaboratively as an integral member of the interprofessional health care team.