Volume 95, Issue 23

Friday, October 12, 2001
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Concern grows on campus

Fiddler opens new audiology centre

New Free Press? Same old shit

BOG profile: Dave Brebner

USC endorses courses for VPs

Fiddler opens new audiology centre

By Shane Silverberg
Gazette Writer

There was good news heard by all yesterday, with the grand opening of Western's own National Centre for Audiology at Elborn College.

Among the notables present at the opening ceremony were Cape Breton's famous fiddler, Natalie McMaster, London deputy mayor Russ Monteith and MP-London West, Sue Barnes.

"The NCA is Canada's foremost centre for the field of hearing health care and is home to the nation's largest hearing research and educational program," said researcher Richard Seewald, a professor in Western's school of communication sciences and disorders.

Seewald said the institution has been a dream 15 years in the making and noted yesterday's opening was "an important extension of the trailblazing auditory research conducted by Alexander Graham Bell."

Jake Foster, a seven-year-old hearing impaired violinist from London, opened the festivities on Natalie McMaster's fiddle with "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," followed by a performance by McMaster.

"I was happy to be a part of such an important event. Other than my family, hearing is my most prized asset," McMaster explained.

Seewald introduced 21-year-old Athena Margarita, a beneficiary of audiology research. Suffering from hearing loss at four-years-old, Athena began a series of regular visits with audiologists. Through amplification treatment, Athena became increasingly responsive to sound and was able to improve her speaking capabilities.

"The NCA is an example of hearing and speech technology and research at its best," Margarita said.

"One must make sure that people with hearing problems are aided and monitored with regular rehabilitation. This facility makes such programs possible, but treatment is a long-term process and continued financial support is needed."

"About ten per cent of Canadians experience hearing problems," said NCA director Don Jamieson. However, this statistic is age-specific and most incidents of hearing loss affect elderly Canadians.

"Planning of the NCA began about three years ago and construction began around this time last year," said architect Ross Scorgie.

The facilities contain an Anechoic Chamber, a "non-reverberant" room that absorbs all sounds and will be involved in three upcoming research projects.

The centre's primary areas of research include rehabilitation programs, assistance devices and fitting strategies, hearing conservation programs and auditory development in childhood.

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