The American Cochlear Implant Alliance, a newly formed not-for-profit organization is convening the CI 2013 Symposium "Emerging Issues in Cochlear Implantation" to share information and promote discussion among attendees with the aim of encouraging needed research, facilitating appropriate clinical practices based on research findings, and expanding awareness among the broader medical community about the potential impact of such practices on specific candidate populations. ACIA seeks to promote discussion and research surrounding general health benefits, quality of life, literacy and workplace advantages provided by cochlear implantation-topics which are not sufficiently addressed by existing and ongoing research activities. Through enhanced understanding of the full benefits of cochlear implantation, we believe access to the intervention may be improved. The symposium, which will be held October 24-26, 2013 (1/2 day, full day, 1/2 day) in Washington DC, will focus on six emerging issues: Hearing Preservation, Implantation of the Very Young, Implanting Multiply Involved Children, Cochlear Implants in Single-Sided Deafness, Cochlear Implantation in Older Adults, and Telehealth and Cochlear Implantation. Each topic will be explored during a three-hour time block with podium presentations and a panel discussion during the final 45 minutes. We believe this organization will provide high quality sessions with more extensive exploration of a limited number of key emerging topics. Symposium attendees will be the interdisciplinary teams of cochlear implant clinicians, scientists, primary care physicians, and governmental officials at the state and national levels concerned with health care and the candidate populations. The Symposium program is consistent with the NIDCD 2012-2016 Strategic Plan, Priority Area 4, which emphasizes improving outcomes for human communication by accelerating the translation of research discoveries into practice;increasing access to healthcare;and enhancing the delivery, quality, and effectiveness of care. By involving primary care physicians in our panels and also encouraging their organizations to disseminate findings and/or our proceedings document after the conference, we aim to improve access and clinical practice for affected populations both in and outside of hearing health. Poster presentations will allow additional sharing of information, a component which is critical to discussion among investigators and participants. Commercial exhibitors will be invited to display products and services;we have commitments from the three major implant companies and related medical devices to attend. Funds are being requested for four activities: (1) design and publication of a post conference electronic proceeding document that will be peer reviewed and posted with free open access on the ACIA website;(2) captioning (CART) and other communication access for people with hearing loss;(3) conference scholarships for students and young investigators;and (4) audio visual rental and related support services for the conference presentations and captioning.
The goal of the Emerging Issues Symposium is to explore research and clinical issues surrounding six key topics as these issues fit within expanding indications and improved outcomes. Quality of life and broad health benefits that have been found to be associated with hearing restoration generally and cochlear implantation specifically for children and adults will be explored.