The study of speech and hearing disorders is known as Audiology. This is the branch of science that deals with human speech and hearing imbalances. The person who studies this rare subject is called Audiologist. An Audiologist can fix the causes of speech and hearing disorders in a person. He / she employs different techniques i.e. hearing tests, otoacoustic emission measurements, videonystagmography, and electrophysiologic tests etc to establish whether an individual is hearing impaired or not. Because of growing number of speech and hearing impaired individuals both children and adult, the demand for expert audiologist is on the rise and Audiology is recognized as a profession.
The Audiology and Speech Pathology in India was started as a profession by a group of enthusiastic professionals like Dr. N Rathna, Dr. S Nikam, Mr. Ramesh Oza and Dr. Vijay Shah. The first Audiology & Speech Language Therapy program was started in 1966 at T.N.Medical College and BYL Nair Ch. Hospital in Mumbai. In the same year, the Government of India established All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (www.aiishmysore.com) which became the country's leading Institute in the field of communication disorders.
At present, there are 20 Universities (8 Governmental and 14 private) institute in India which provide Speech Pathology and Audiology programs. These programs are accredited by Rehabilitation council of India (RCI). Majority of these institutes provide excellent multidisciplinary clinical setup for persons with communication disorders.
The profession of Audiologist offers both; the stature and the job satisfaction and is mainly suitable for those who feel joy in helping others. To practice audiology, a person needs to have either Bachelors / Masters Degree in Audiology and be registered with Indian Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA) or Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI). There is a number of government and private health care agencies which provide speech and hearing services.
A degree in speech and hearing is recognized both in India and overseas for practice as speech and hearing expert. Candidates having degree in speech and hearing can get employment in different government and private institutions.
The Indian speech and hearing experts are in demand across the globe; particularly in west because of their unique multilingual / multicultural background and excellent communication in English. There is a rapidly growing community of qualified and skilled Indian Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists across the world; mainly in North America, Singapore and Australia.
Courses & Eligibility
Diploma Programmes – 10 + 2 Science or an equivalent examination
Bachelors Degree Programme – 10 + 2 Science with Physics, Chemistry Maths/Biology or an equivalent examination
Post Graduate Program – Graduate in respective discipline of Speech & Audiology
The various courses available in Audiology and Speech and Hearing are :
- B.Sc. (Speech and Hearing)
- M.Sc. (Audiology)
- M.Sc. (Speech-Language Pathology)
- Bachelors of Special Education (Hearing Impairment)
- Diploma in Hearing Aid and Earmould Technology
- B.Ed (Special Education-Distance Mode)
- Ph.D. (Audiology)
- Ph.D. (Speech-Language Pathology)
- Certificate Course on Communication Disorders
Speech and Hearing professionals like audiologists can find jobs with teaching and health care establishments. Several NGOs also offer good employments to these professionals. Audiologists conduct clinical activities with patients, are involved in speech & hearing research, dispense hearing aids and assistive listening devices and teach at schools and universities.
Audiologists work closely with government agencies, practicing physicians and hearing aid manufacturers. Subsequently an audiologist can also develop his / her own venture of health care or teaching institution or an NGO.
Presently, there are very few speech and hearing professionals/audiologists are in India while the requirement for these specialists far exceeds the supply. This means that there is excellent scope for those venturing into this field.
Audiologist’s earnings depend on his/her efficiency in practice. The average starting salary offered to a fresh graduate ranges between Rs.5, 000-Rs.7, 000. With increase in experience and skills the salary reaches Rs.10, 000 or more.