March 26, 2014: Juliëtte Sterkens, Au.D., received the A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences Alumni Chapter’s Humanitarian of the Year Award at the American Academy of Audiology’s Audiology Now 2014 conference in Orlando. MAJ David Pedersen, member of the Arizona School of Health Sciences Alumni Board and the Military Audiology Association, presented the award.
MAJ Pedersen noted Sterkens efforts for communication access as he described her accomplishments in getting 300 locations in Wisconsin looped. He added that she took a sabbatical from her audiology practice to devote her energies to the HLAA loop advocate role to advocate for communication access on a greater scale.
MAJ David Peterson, Au.D., and Juliëtte Sterkens, Au.D.
In her role as hearing loop advocate, Dr. Sterkens collaborates with HLAA volunteers across the country to further the organization's mission and increase awareness about hearing loss, and the need for an increase in the use of hearing loops to improve hearing accessibility. She offers her public speaking and advocacy skills to help HLAA Chapters start hearing loop initiatives of their own.
Dr. Sterkens explains: “Hearing loss affects more than volume alone and often people with hearing loss complain they can hear but cannot understand. Hearing loss requires the user to receive speech with an improved signal-to-noise ratio. Although hearing aid and cochlear implant technology has improved dramatically, the ear-worn microphones cannot entirely deliver what the user needs to understand speech with ease – something that has long frustrated me professionally.”