National Centre for Audiology

The Critical Importance of Early Intervention


Ten years ago, Richard Seewald, PhD, collaborated with pediatric audiology program director, Patricia Roush, AuD, on a video designed to demonstrate evidence-based pediatric hearing aid fitting practices. Three of the youth - who appeared as babies in the video - surprised Seewald during an award ceremony. More than a moving story, they spoke about the importance of their hearing aids and cochlear implants – representing the communication possibilities when infants receive world-class pediatric audiology care.

The middle school students reunited with Richard Seewald at the 7th Annual Judith Gravel Fellowship and Hear the World’s Richard Seewald Award ceremony on Sept. 17 at the University of North Carolina. Now ages 11 and 12, they spoke about their extracurricular pursuits, triumphs, and life with hearing loss.

“It was an incredibly emotional and powerful ceremony because it celebrated Pat Roush and her team, and their exceptional audiology program,” said Seewald. “But, the real celebration to me was to witness the outcomes provided by that service. This is my ultimate dream come true because you could not tell from their speech and language that they have a hearing impairment.”

“UNC is a world-class center, and one of the leading pediatric training facilities. I could win 100 awards, but this was the best reward to see what an incredible difference this program makes.”  

Richard Seewald, PhD, is an internationally renowned audiologist and professor emeritus at the National Centre for Audiology and in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western Ontario. 

Read more at Hear The Word Foundation and UNC.