Günther Beckstein paying tribute to the acousticians' trade
When EUHA Präsident Martin Blecker was opening the 59th International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians in Hanover, he mentioned the fact that, according to a recent survey, people in the north of Germany are among those that are most contented. Contentment means that one is satisfied with what one has achieved, not demanding more. However, Martin Blecker's dictum is: "We are never ever contented!" This is why the International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians is the driving force for the whole line of business not to be contented with the status quo but to keep striving for improvement – for the benefit of those suffering from impaired hearing.
Some 7,500 delegates from 90 countries took the chance to get information on the latest developments in research, science, hearing aid acoustics, and technology at more than 100 exhibition stands and over twenty lectures, one round table talk, as well as six workshops.
Keynote speaker Dr Günther Beckstein, former Prime Minister of the Free State of Bavaria, dealt with the question of "What degree of hearing impairment is acceptable in a politician?". As he is himself a user of a cochlear implant as well as a hearing aid, he very much appreciates the quality of life he has regained thanks to this type of fitting. His creed: to be able to react, as well as to act, quickly, politicians must have a sixth sense and a keen ear. This is why hearing aid acousticians play an essential role in his private and professional life. He has paid tribute to the excellent work performed by our craft by remarking: "Hats off for what you're doing!"
Actor Mario Adorf attended the opening ceremony and the guided tour of the exhibition for representatives of the media. He is committed to dispel the stigmatisation that is sometimes still associated with hearing systems. His message was: "Good hearing is no extravagance, you can't do without it!"
Outstanding achievements by young acousticians are brought into the public's attention by the EUHA Sponsorship Award, which was awarded for the fifth time his year.
Karin Busse from Oldenburg University researched the interaction between cognitive and fine-motor skills and speech intelligibility in noise, and was awarded the third prize. Jörn Klages and Marius Beuchert studied at Lübeck University of Applied Sciences and came second with their joint paper entitled Speech Audiometry: International Practice and Relation to the Pure Tone Audiogram. Maren Wellnitz from Lübeck University of Applied Sciences was given the first prize for her exceptional accomplishment. She dealt with the examination of new measurement signals for determining the maximum output sound pressure level in hearing aids using percentile analysis.
This year's Research Award of the Research Association of German Hearing Aid Acousticians (FDHA) went to Professor Dr Gerhard Goebel for his research on psycho-acoustic and instrument-based tinnitus management.
More than 80 representatives of the media from Germany and abroad attended the Congress. A special guided tour of the exhibition took them to a choice of stands at the exhibition where technological innovations and information on hearing acousticians' training were presented.
"Balm for your ears" was the motto at the showroom which focused on the hearing aid acoustician's work. Wolfgang Luber and Erich Bayer presented work processes that are not readily associated with hearing care professionals. There was an introduction to topics such as protection against ear infections, pressure equalisation for air travel, noise protection, and audio therapy.
On the whole, the 59th International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians held in Hanover proved to be an event that will stay in the memory of all those who attended it. The organisers are more than happy with this successful convention, and have commenced preparations for the 60th International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians, which will be held in Nuremberg, Germany, from 14 to 16 October 2015.