1st GENERAL ASSEMBLY
7-9 October 1993 Hannover Germany
Kunigunde Welzl-Müller (v) Ettore Cassandro (v) (Oct 7)
Paul Govaerts (v) Hans Verschuure (v)
Kristin Daemers Theo Kapteyn
Jan de Laat
Jarka Prihodova (v) Norway:
Zdenek Skvor Einar Laukli (v)
Wieslaw Sulkowski (v)
Agnete Parving (v)
Republic of Ireland:
Phil Cooke (v)
Martti Sorri (v)
Alexandru Pascu (v)
René Dauman (v)
Lionel Collet Stig Arlinger (v)
Hartmut Berndt (v)
Maria Rosa de Cárdenas (v)
Joseph Pytel (v) Thomas Spillmann (v)
Israel: United Kingdom:
Moe Bergman (v) Jonathan Hazell (v)
Joseph Attias Peggy Chalmers
The meeting was opened by Stig Arlinger. He announced that our host Thomas Lenarz was not able to attend due to illness and that his place would be taken by the German representative Dr Kießling who had taken over this responsibility at very short notice. Stig Arlinger welcomed members of the European Committee of Reference to Hannover. It was reported that funding for the meeting had not been as good as hoped, but in the end it transpired that all delegates local expenses relating to the hotels for 3 nights and food have been taken care of by Professor Lenarz. Some limited funding towards travel for some of the delegates might be available once the conference is over. Programme changes were announced and the social activities outlined.
Jonathan Hazell gave an outline of the forming of EFAS and a report from the secretariat. Secretarial services are currently provided by Pippa Lofthouse during office hours. Attempts have been made to find support within the EEC for the formation of EFAS. So far a number of EEC directorates and programmes have been approached, eg HELIOS II (WFD - ECRS), The TEMPUS programme (Taskforce for Human Resources), Medicine and Hygiene at Work, Safety at Work and Biomedical and Health Research Programme (directorate 12). It was announced that a grant application for support for the Hannover programme had been sent to Mr Wehrens but although this had been acknowledged there had been no further response from him.
There had been interaction with Hearing International (an organisation formed by IFOS and ISA in connection with WHO, IAPA and ILAP) concerned with all aspects of hearing impairment in developing countries. Preliminary discussions have taken place with its president Dr Kapur and the General Secretary of IFOS, Peter Alberti.
During discussion the meeting was generally in favour of the activities of Hearing International, but further information would be needed to identify the responsibilities and expenses of being an group affiliated to it.
Hans Verschuure spoke about the many disappointments involved in trying to obtain recognition of EFAS with the EEC. The European Community Regional Secretariat (ECRS) of the World Federation of the Deaf was the only European group concerned with hearing impairment and this was a client lead group previously involved with the interests of the deaf community. ECRS is under the umbrella of the HELIOS II programme which is concerned with creating networks for disabled people. Dr Verschuure announced the arrival on the next day of management consultants from Wissenraet to assist us with the establishment of links through the commission.
Dr Verschuure continued with details of the second European conference in Audiology.
There would be plenty of opportunities for discussion about the role of EFAS developing these services throughout Europe and also for the meeting of various working parties to be set up in the interim. The venue which is to be at Noordwijkerhout is a modern conference centre, near the sea, of high quality, which was originally a Roman Catholic seminar.
4. Brief Presentations from Each Participating Country:
A 5 minute presentation of national background situations followed. In particular we were trying to answer the questions:
Does your country have a multi-professional audiological society?
What professional training is available in your country?
What professional need could EFAS assist in?
5. Initial Discussion on Bylaws of EFAS
A draft bylaws / outline constitution was presented by Stig Arlinger. Work was begun on the wording of this, and a full transcription of the most recent draft is attached to this report as Appendix (i). Topics that were addressed included:
i) What to do if a country has no society or more than one society (as in Denmark) or if audiology is run by the ENT society. How to avoid conflicts of interest.
ii) Dues - How do countries pay and if there is more than one society who pays what? Should it be related to the size of the society and to the wealth of the country? Funds may be needed to pay for professional help to join the EEC. Some money could be raised by sponsorship or applying for grants.
iii) Time was spent on the definition of audiology and there was much discussion about voting strategy.
6. Meeting with Wiessenraet
7. Working Groups
Three working groups were set up each with a Convenor and Secretary, but it was decided not to divide members into three groups as previously arranged, rather to run the three working parties consecutively so that all members could take part.
Working Group I Convenor - Moe Bergman
Secretary - Agnete Parving
Topic Review of organisation and delivery of services for the hearing impaired in European countries.
Working Group II Convenor - Peggy Chalmers
Secretary - René Dauman
Topic Review of professional training in audiology available in European countries.
Working Group III Convenor - Hans Verschuure
Secretary - Jürgen Kießling
Topic European cooperation and professional training.
The deliberations of these 3 working groups will be presented in further papers prepared by each secretary which will be available within 6 weeks time and will be attached to a later draft of this paper.
Elections According to Bylaws of EFAS
Simulated Past Chairperson
Member at Large
A Nomination Committee was formed consisting of the following and were supported by a unanimous vote:
8.2 Financial Support
Support for the running of the Secretariat was requested, as at the present moment all expenses are born by the Secretary/Treasurer. It was decided to request gifts of 50-100 ECUs a year from each member country. This could either be raised by sponsorship, or requested from the audiology society(ies) of the member country. It was agreed that a formal letter would be written to each voting member of the Committee of Reference requesting this donation.
8.3 Next General Assembly
It was agreed that the Second General Assembly of the Committee of Reference would be held during the ISA meeting in Halifax (3-7 July 1994). The Honorary Secretary would write to Dr Mencher to arrange an appropriate time and venue. The topics to be discussed would be:
Presentation of the council meeting with Wissenraet.
Presentation from working groups.
Further report about the 1995 conference at Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands.
9. Scientific Meeting
The following papers were presented:
The EEC project: Concerted Action on Otoacoustic Emissions, (Collet)
A Dutch Study on Audiological Screening Using OAE, (Verschuure)
Transient Otoacoustic Emission in Neonatal Screening, (Johansson)
The Application of OAE and Clinical Audiology, (Attias)
The Epidemiology of Hearing Impairment in Childhood - Definitions and Criteria, (Parving)
These papers raised a number of important issues many of which had European dimensions.
A brief discussion followed in which Agnete Parving identified the need for a pan European database and it was agreed that EFAS should distribute the definitions for the use of this (Appendix III). Moe Bergman asked that the minutes record Jonathan Hazell as the founder of EFAS. The meeting closed with a vote of thanks from Hartmut Berndt and Stig Arlinger.