Dear colleagues and friends
Already for more than 20 years EFAS is a forum where all the national European audiology organizations come together. We would like to welcome you by highlighting what EFAS can mean or even do for you and your professional activities. A major role of EFAS is to bring together critical mass in Europe and beyond, and stimulate discussion and collaboration in the field of audiology, across different related disciplines, from basic sciences to applications. This leads to the successful biannual EFAS conferences (700 delegates recently in Budapest at EFAS2013) with much interchange of academic and clinical knowledge in audiology.
EFAS brings together the diversity in audiology across Europe, to be considered as a wealth of variety. Be it education in audiology or hearing screening or other domains of audiology, a huge variety of approaches and methodologies are developed and applied in Europe. Nevertheless, audiology is growing. As an example, new audiology educational programs start up in some countries and the level of audiology needed in the field is evolving. Audiology is constructively resonating between audiologists, hearing instrument professionals and ENT-professionals, bridging the clinical field, technology and research, for the sake of people with hearing impairment. We can learn a lot from each other. Moreover, a common platform for discussion and training, as well as progress towards well investigated common procedures and policies is needed, more than ever, in an evolving world of regulations and of budgetary restrictive considerations in health care. EFAS plays an important role.
Besides the EFAS-congresses, other initiatives in different domains where the European (or more general international) context is a prerequisite, are equally important. Through the years EFAS emphasizes efforts and invests in audiology education, in scholarships and grants , and in working groups that study a specific audiology question or topic of general interest. At present, EFAS is collating information across Europe about education and training to prepare possible future paths of exchange and educational links. EFAS continues to campaign on education issues at both Bachelors and Masters level, in relation to EU and local governments. EFAS is also the audiology contact for UEMS-ORL, the European organization of ENT-specialists, which is an important link for joint Education. EFAS provides scholarships to participate in the biannual EFAS congress, as well as grants for sponsoring a scientific or educational project (see the EFAS website). These scholarships and grants are specifically aimed at young audiologists, trainees or students. The main focus is education and collaboration after all.
At the last EFAS Congress in Budapest in June 2013 two EFAS special sessions were organized: one about Audiology education in Europe and one about the activities of the EFAS Working group on pre-school and school age children hearing screening (SHS) and related topics. The evolutions in these EFAS initiatives were also reported at the meeting of the EFAS General Assembly. A first outcome or deliverable of the Working Group on SHS is a report of the status and aims of SHS in 7 European countries. The report is available from the EFAS website. Furthermore, as a follow-up to the session at the Budapest congress, an EFAS Workshop on Education in audiology will be organized on September 4th-5th 2014 in Leuven
A continuous activity and task is the preparation of the next (12th) EFAS Congress which will take place in 2015 in Istanbul from May 27th to 30th and will offer a stimulating scientific program with a variety of topics from audiological research and practice. I am looking forward to welcome you at the EFAS meetings
With my best regards