Audiologists are professionals who can engage in autonomous practice to promote healthy hearing and communication competency. Audiologists help improve the quality of life for persons of all ages through the prevention, identification, assessment, and rehabilitation of hearing and auditory function through fitting of hearing aids and/or Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs). They also facilitate prevention of hearing loss through the fitting of hearing protective devices. Functional diagnosis of vestibular disorders and management of balance rehabilitation is another aspect of the professional responsibilities of the audiologist.
Audiologists currently hold a degree in Audiology from a program accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. ASHA-certified audiologists complete a supervised professional externship. Where required, audiologists are licensed or registered by the state in which they practice. By virtue of their education, they are considered to be the most qualified professional to assess and make a non-medical diagnosis of hearing impairment (e.g. type and severity).