On behalf of the New Jersey Association of Hearing Health Professionals (NJAHHP)—the state’s largest association representing hearing health professionals—I am writing to express opposition to A-4651/S-3200. This legislation would enable audiologists to fit and dispense hearing aids without obtaining a hearing aid dispensers license. NJAHHP is very concerned that by exempting audiologists from the licensing process, the health and welfare of the state’s hearing impaired may be at risk.
Current law requires any individual dispensing hearing aids in the state to pass the dispensers licensing exam, regardless of educational background. New Jersey’s licensing exam has long been a stand-out as one of the most thorough and rigorous in the nation. The three-part evaluation includes a practical component that ensures candidates are capable of applying their classroom education to a real-world setting, dispensing and fitting hearing aids to consumers safely and with the highest standards of care. It doesn’t make sense from a consumer-safety perspective to remove this comprehensive evaluation of their competency.
The bill allows the right to fit and dispense hearing aids to all audiologists who have completed approved coursework. The problem is the completion of an educational degree does not automatically qualify anyone to perform public health related activities without proving basic competencies (via the licensing exam) to a licensing body who equally evaluates all individuals wishing to perform that activity.
In light of the consumer-safety issues outlined above, NJAHHP respectfully asks that NJ Legislators VOTE NO should A-4561/S-3200 be posted for consideration. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our concerns in more detail. I can be reached at 609-503-7818.
More than anything, our Association wants to be a resource in creating a balanced policy that will ensure the highest level of care to our hearing impaired New Jerseyans.
President, New Jersey Association of Hearing Health Professionals
NJ Hearing Aid Dispensing Lic. #1239
Ahrens Hearing Center / Loop NJ
Daniel Berke, HIS - President
Charles Herb, BC-HIS, ACA - Vice President
David Weesner, AuD - Secretary
Anthony F. Nash, BC-HIS - Acting Treasurer
Granville Y. Brady, Jr., AuD
Michael Bruk, PhD, BC-HIS
Nicole Caltagirone, HAD
Leslie Herman, AuD
Ed LaDuca, BC-HIS
Thomas J. Ouimet, BC-HIS
Edward T. Regan, BC-HIS, ACA
James L. Saad, Jr., BC-HIS