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After a day of closing off one ear, Grace Bratlee’s eyes were opened to the struggles of what one in five people experience—some form of hearing loss. The project in Introduction to Audiology, which tasks students to wear one earplug for a day to simulate hearing loss, has made the course both memorable and impactful.

Bratlee and other alumni have cited this project, and the course, as valuable because many people can relate to communication difficulties with family members or friends due to hearing loss. The course addresses this issue and teaches students both the causes of hearing loss and how to prevent it. It also shines a light on sometimes forgotten aspects of communication disorders: hearing and balance difficulties.

Offered by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders for more than forty years, students both inside and outside of the major take Introduction to Audiology. Not only a well-rounded introduction for speech-language pathologists, the course can also be foundational for students pursuing a variety of fields in speech and language.

“I think many people are unaware of the field of audiology and are genuinely curious about what they can do to help loved ones and others.” – Grace Bratlee ’16 CSD