the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario

2024 Symposium

May 8 – 10 at the Fallsview Casino Resort
Save the Date!

2023 AHIP Symposium Gallery

2023 AHIP Symposium Speakers

Dr. Tedeschi is the Chief Audiology Officer for Amplifon Americas. Primary responsibilities center around Governmental Affairs and Regulatory activities. He holds a doctorate degree in Audiology. Dr. Tedeschi has worked in a number of sectors throughout his career, hospital based, private practice, teaching, and industry related positions. He started his career as the Chief of Audiology for a large Children’s Hospital Medical then moved into the private sector where he was a partner in a Hearing and Balance Center. At that time, he also held adjunct professor status at The University of Akron. After leaving private practice Dr. Tedeschi became the Director of Worldwide Training & Business Development for Sonic Innovations and was responsible for the establishment of training protocols and business development in 22 countries. He joined Amplifon in 2009 as the Vice President of Sonus, in 2015 he moved to position of VP of Training and Education for Amplifon Americas, and in 2019 became the Chief Audiology Officer for Amplifon Americas. He has co-authored chapters on Ethics in Audiology in two books, and recently co-authored a chapter on Practice Management. He has been the author of numerous professional articles and has given over 400 professional presentations both nationally and internationally. Dr. Tedeschi has served on various committees for the American Academy of Audiology, and the Academy of Doctors of Audiology. He is the recipient of ADA’s President’s Award. Served on the Elections Committee, Professional Practices Committee, and Convention planning committee. He also serves as the secretary for the Hearing Industries Association’s Regulatory and Technical Committee. He is a Past President of the Ohio Academy of Audiology. A recipient of the Distinguished Fellow for Policy and Strategy, National Academy of Practice.

Dr Thomas Tedeschi, AuD.

Sponsored by

Seminar: Learnings, Insights & Impact of OTC Hearing Aids in the U.S.

Wednesday May 10, 1:00 – 2:00pm

For the first time in United States, adult consumers may purchase hearing aids over-the-counter without intervention from a hearing care professional. The availability of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids follows recent regulatory actions taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish this new category of medical devices in the United States intended for adult consumers with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss. The FDA’s actions have been years in the making after the U.S. Congress passed legislation signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017 requiring the establishment of the OTC hearing aid category in hopes of increasing access to more affordable hearing aids and reducing consumer confusion surrounding the solutions available to them.

With the OTC hearing aid market now open, consumers, hearing care professionals, and the hearing care industry face new opportunities and challenges. While OTC hearing aids have the potential to benefit adult consumers with mild to moderate hearing loss, these devices are not intended for everyone, presenting unique challenges that consumers must consider before choosing to purchase and use an amplification device without first consulting with a hearing care professional. The FDA’s OTC hearing aid regulation imposes important controls to ensure these new devices are safe and effective for consumers. Given that OTC hearing aids require consumers to take a more active role in their own hearing healthcare, many stakeholders have expressed concerns that some users may experience increased hearing loss if these devices are used inappropriately or not as intended. OTC hearing aids are not appropriate for adult consumers with more severe or complex hearing loss conditions and may not be able to provide the same level of customization and personalization as traditional hearing aids.

While OTC hearing aids have the potential to improve accessibility and affordability, the limitations of these devices must be strongly considered prior to use, particularly without involvement of a hearing care professional. This presentation will explore the FDA’s OTC hearing aid regulation, important considerations for consumers and hearing care professionals, and the potential impact on the broader hearing healthcare ecosystem.

Michèle Dostaler is the Audiology Team Leader for Signia and Rexton brands at WS Audiology in Canada, which she joined in 2009. She holds a Masters of Audiology degree from the University of Ottawa and an AuD from AT Still University and also has work experience in private practice and hospital settings.

Michele Dostaler, AuD.

Sponsored by Signia

Seminar: Acoustic Couplings: What We Gain vs What We Lose

Wednesday, May 10, 2:00 – 3:00pm

The choice of acoustic coupling can significantly change the way sound is directed to the eardrum. Various generic and custom options are currently available that can accommodate most types of hearing loss and comfort requirements, however fit and venting considerations can greatly modify the acoustic response and potentially compromise the efficacy of hearing aid technologies, as well as the patient’s overall experience. Considering the venting type, shape, size and material of various domes and earmolds in relation to different audiograms, hearing needs and types of hearing aid fittings is essential to a successful fit when selecting the appropriate acoustic coupling for a patient.

Andreas graduated Western University with a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Hons) in 2006 and a Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2008. He completed his thesis work at the National Centre for Audiology on the sound quality impact of frequency compression technology and has published on this topic as well as others. He gives regular lectures in the community, at conferences and scientific meetings, in the media and at various post-secondary academic institutions including University of Toronto, Western University and Conestoga College. In addition to over a decade of clinical practice as an Audiologist, he is currently engaged as the Director of Audiology at Hearing Solutions, the largest independently owned chain of hearing healthcare clinics in Ontario.

Andreas Seelisch, M. Sc.

Sponsored by

Seminar: Emerging Audiology Management in Diabetes Care

Wednesday, May 10, 3:15 – 4:15 pm

Audiology monitoring and management of hearing loss and risk of falls are now recommended for persons with diabetes by the Centers of Disease Control and the American Diabetes Association. This recognition is the beginning step in creating awareness and better incorporating audiological care into the treatment and monitoring programs for persons with diabetes. This supports changing views in our field of how audiological care transcends hearing issues and is instead a part of a bigger healthcare picture considering our patient’s overall wellbeing. Despite this, hearing healthcare providers often risk working in a silo and may feel unprepared to incorporate discussions on diabetes into their counselling sessions. Similarly, interprofessional awareness surrounding these connections remains poor. This presentation will describe the pathophysiology of diabetes on hearing and balance to create a general understanding surrounding its mechanisms and relationships. It will outline steps to evaluate and recommend management of hearing loss and risk of falls for persons with diabetes that can be implemented into daily practice. Finally, it discusses some of the steps you can take to advocate between professions at the local, provincial, or federal level.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the pathophysiology of diabetes on hearing and balance / risks of falls
  • Incorporate language about diabetes into routine history taking and counselling
  • Explain how audiology medical management will ensure the best patient outcomes for diabetes care
  • Learn how to become an advocate and take steps to foster outreach and inter-professional collaboration

Ted Venema earned a BA in Philosophy at Calvin College (1977), an MA in Audiology at Western Washington University (1988), and a PhD in Audiology at the University of Oklahoma (1993). He has worked as a clinical audiologist, and also in the hearing aid manufacturing sector. He taught audiology at Auburn University in Alabama and also at Western University in Ontario Canada. In 2006 he initiated, developed and implemented the HIS program at Conestoga College in Kitchener Ontario. Since September 2017 he has been teaching in the Hearing Instrument Practitioner program at Douglas College in Coquitlam BC. Ted is the author of a textbook, Compression for Clinicians, which has now been rewritten and available as a 3rd edition.

Ted Venema, Ph.D.

Sponsored by

Seminar: Fitting Methods: Islands in the Setting Sun?

Wednesday, May 10, 4:15 – 5:45pm

The origins of today’s fitting methods hail from the 1940s, with Lybarger’s half-gain rule. A bunch more of them emerged in the decades that followed, and all of them were variations of the ½ gain rule. Aided thresholds with warble tones in a sound field looked like little letter “A’s” strewn across the audiogram, positioned half-way between the client’s unaided thresholds and 0 dB HL. Clinicians could rest assured that average intensity conversational speech would then be amplified to fit nicely inside the client’s dynamic range, between the client’s unaided thresholds and UCLs. Real ear measures (REM) entered the scene in the late 1980s, and the targets of any fitting method were much more easily seen. If you hit the target, the end goal was again believed to be achieved. All of this preceded today’s REM, which truly allows one to “see” what the client hears. Hearing aid compression in the 1990s completely replaced linear gain. Output in dB SPL replaced gain in dB. We now literally “map” aided outputs for soft, average and loud conversational speech on to the clients’ hearing loss, and the results are plainly displayed on the computer screen for clients and clinicians to see. Especially regarding average speech inputs, we have arrived precisely where the founding pioneers of our field were trying to be; if they could only see what we today can see! There is something else however, to consider here: Fitting methods today (NAL1, NAL2, DSL5) are quite similar. They all tend to aid soft speech so it is barely audible, average speech so that it sits roughly 1/3 above the client’s thresholds, and loud speech so it sits below loudness discomfort levels. If we simply do this, are we really in need of fitting methods anymore?

Learner Outcomes

At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  1. outline the reason for the “spinal cord” of all fitting methods (½ gain rule) in the first place
  2. trace the evolution of fitting methods and the corresponding development of REM
  3. describe the value of REM as an important tool for counselling clients

Maggie Arzani has been a member of the profession for 26 years as a Hearing Instrument Dispenser; graduating from George Brown College in 1997. She has worked in private practice as a clinician and office administrator until 2018, when she moved to the role of Sr. Third Party Specialist in Clinic Support at HearingLife Canada. Maggie has been volunteering her time as a member of the AHIP Board of Directors for over 20 years in various capacities, including seven terms as the Association’s President.

Maggie Arzani, H.I.D.

Sponsored by

Seminar: Are You Third Party Audit Ready?

Wednesday, May 10, 5:45-6:15pm

This seminar will focus on the latest Ministry of Health Assistive Devices Program (ADP) audits, reported by members of our association. We will discuss how to get ready for ADP audits with easy-to-follow tools that can be applied by any and all vendor-practitioners. These simple methods will provide guidance for when (not if) you will get audited.

Advance questions are welcome, please email

Valerie Graham is a Hearing Instrument Specialist at Whisper Audiology Hearing Clinic. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Music at Acadia University she decided to switch into the hearing healthcare field. She graduated from Conestoga’s Hearing Instrument Specialist program in 2019 and is now a clinician in a private clinic. She has developed a personal connection with Service Dogs from being a service dog handler for the past 12 years. Valerie is committed to spreading awareness and education about Service Dogs.

Valerie Graham, H.I.S., B.A, Mus.

Sponsored by

Seminar: Being of Service: What You Need to Know About Service Dogs

Thursday, May 11, 8:30 – 9:30am

What do you do when a patient walks into your office with a Service Dog? In the hearing healthcare field we often focus on the physical and acoustic aspects of accessibility. However, in order to move towards a more accessible future it is important to understand other accommodations and how they apply inside and outside of a clinical setting In this seminar we will cover the basics of how to best support individuals with Service Animals. We will begin by discussing what a service dog is and how it is different from other working dogs or companion animals such as pets. While the process of t raining Service Dogs differs between organizations, we will cover the basic requirements of Service Dogs as well as some general tasks they may perform to assist their handlers. This will lead us into accommodations that should be applied in a clinical set ting as well as the necessary etiquette for interacting with handlers and Service Dogs. These general rules of conduct are applicable to both a clinical and public setting.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. Describe what a service dog does and how they differ from o ther classes of working dogs
  2. Identify the rules of conduct when interacting with service dogs and their handlers
  3. Outline accommodations that service dog handlers may require in the clinical setting to ensure adequate support

Luis Camacho, AuD, began working for Starkey in August 2000 as a Field Sales Representative. In that role he supported Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Kentucky. At the beginning of 2010, he joined the Education & Training Department as part of the field-training team. In January of 2021, Luis was promoted to Manager of Education & Training, supervising the field trainers located around the US and coordinating international training with Starkey’s training staff around the world. Current duties include leading training classes for Starkey staff and customers, development of training materials and overseeing Starkey’s Audiology Online and e-learning initiatives. Dr. Camacho also coordinates international training initiatives with colleagues around the world within Starkey’s global organization. In 1987, he received his BA in Telecommunications and Audio Engineering from Indiana University. Later, he received his MA in Audiology from Indiana University in 1991. After graduate school, he worked as an audiologist for a neuro-otology practice in Indianapolis where his duties included clinical audiology, special testing, hearing aid dispensing, marketing and public relations. In October of 2013 he earned his AuD from A.T. Still University. Luis is married with three children and resides in Bloomington, Indiana.

Luis Camacho, AuD.

Sponsored by

Seminar: How AI Customizes to the Patient Needs

Thursday, May 11, 9:30 – 10:30am

This session will provide an overview of how artificial intelligence (AI) has been integrated in modern hearing aids. The various sub-categories of AI, such as machine learning and deep neural networking, will be reviewed. AI and signal processing and how this can provide clarity and comfort for the user will be discussed. Uses of AI to expand the definition and performance of the hearing aid, such as activity tracking, engagement tracking, fall detection, and the advent of the intelligent assistant, will be highlighted.

Katherine Isaac is a cybersecurity expert with over 20 years of experience in private, public, and non-profit sectors. She has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top Women in Cybersecurity and is a member of the Canadian Cybersecurity Network Advisory Board. As VP of Customer Success, she prioritizes customer needs and security best practices. She holds CISSP and PMP certifications and an Executive MBA from Western University and a BSc in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Toronto. She also mentors and supports underprivileged youth and women in STEM and is a speaker and board member at UrbanPromise Toronto.

Kathy Isaac, VP, Customer Success

Sponsored by

Seminar: Information Security & Privacy for Hearing Healthcare Professionals

Thursday, May 11, 3:00-4:00pm

This session is designed to educate healthcare practices on the importance of protecting patient information and the steps you can take to ensure security and privacy. We will cover relevant privacy laws, best practices for protecting sensitive information, employee training, information technology and security, incident response, and reporting. You will gain a better understanding of the importance of privacy and security in the healthcare industry and will leave equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to secure your practice. Whether you are a practice owner, administrator, or healthcare provider, this presentation is a must-attend for anyone who wants to ensure that their patient information remains secure and protected.

Craig earned his Master’s degree in Audiology from the University of British Columbia in 2008. He then worked in private practice until joining Widex in May 2011. Since then, he has held roles in Audiology Support and Custom Shell Design and transitioned to the role of Audiology Manager / Field trainer in 2019.

Craig Spencer, M.Sc., AuD.

Sponsored by Widex

Seminar: Hearing Aids & Wireless Communication Technology

Thursday, May 11, 4:00-5:00pm

Background information on wireless technologies will be provided, with specific attention paid to those used with modern hearing aids and peripheral electronics. Information on different wireless technologies will be provided along with general trouble-shooting information and future directions of these technologies.

Jenn Schumacher, AuD, is an audiologist and medical writer with over a decade of experience in the hearing aid industry. Jenn joined GN Hearing in 2014. Her current focus is on creating communications related to hearing aids and audiology for hearing care professionals, physicians, and patients. She has prior experience in conducting hearing aid research and clinical trials, in fitting software development, and with fitting, hearing aids in hospital clinics. Jenn received both her BA in Linguistics and her AuD at Ohio State University.

Jenn Schumacher, AuD.

Sponsored by

Seminar: Frequency Warping: The Foundation of a Natural Hearing Experience

Thursday, May 11, 5:00-6:00pm

The foundation of any hearing aid is the amplification of sound for the hearing-impaired user. Wide dynamic range compression (WDRC is often the signal processing strategy of choice in hearing aids, as it can help overcome the audibility limitations caused by hearing loss while also providing flexibility for fitting different patients. This talk will focus on one type of WDRC called frequency warping, which has the added benefit of a design based on the characteristics of the normally-functioning cochlea for a more natural listening experience. The details on the design of frequency warping will be discussed, along with implications for speech and music processing.

Lisa Hiller is an audiologist and Audiology Training Manager at Oticon Canada. In this role, Lisa provides product training and support to hearing professionals across Canada. She completed her Clinical Masters in Audiology at Western University later followed by her Au.D. through Salus University. Prior to her time with Oticon Canada, Lisa gained valuable clinical experience working with children and adults in a private practice setting.

Lisa Hiller, AuD.

Sponsored by Oticon life-changing technology

Seminar: Future Trends in Hearing Aid Technology

Friday, May 12, 1:15-2:15pm

Hearing aid technology has advanced significantly over the past 20 years thanks to the rapid evolution of digital technology. Over the next decade we will see a continued progression and new innovations. This presentation will discuss which areas of hearing aid technology will likely see these new innovations such as connectivity, advances in battery technologies, and the implementation of artificial intelligence.

Andy Daly, Director of New Market Development
As an experienced Sales Leader, Coach, Consultant, and Investor in the healthcare industry, Andy brings in-depth experience in building companies from the ground up, as well as working with businesses and practices in redesigning their approach to success in his various leadership roles. From practice development to designing strategic plans for growth, Andy has served in various positions from sales and consulting to senior leadership roles within both the Print Services and ENT & Audiology industries, where he was instrumental in designing and delivering specific leadership and sales training programs, in-depth data analysis, and ongoing growth and sales initiatives, crushing quotas and generating new revenue streams.

Andy Daly

Sponsored by

Seminar: 6 Easy Strategies to Minimize and Handle Objections

Friday, May 12, 2:15-3:15pm

Whether you are a provider or a patient-care coordinator, we all get objections. Attend this interactive training workshop to gain increased confidence in identifying the most common patient objections and how to overcome them. Learn how to recognize specific concerns and effectively motivate patients to act now!