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10/27/2018  |   10:30 AM - 11:30 AM   |  Kramer Lecture Theater 3

Audiology in Times of Disasters

The passage of atmospheric phenomena, impacts communities in several ways. These populations become emotionally vulnerable, so that making the appropriate approaches is essential. The passage of Hurricane Maria through the island of Puerto Rico challenged the Audiology Professional Community to become clever, resourceful, empathic and forced them to look for unconventional alternatives. New challenges required the redefinition of the clinicians role, taking over their counseling and rehabilitative skills. This experience helped the professionals and audiology students to understand the importance and value of these roles and to exercise them with altruism and compassion. When we speak specifically about audiology patients, it is important to consider the person as a whole and provide them with the tools to face potential challenges. It is important to consider their primary/immediate necessities and approach them with humanitarian and/or philanthropic service. In order to achieve that, it is important to overtake one of the most difficult barrier after a disaster, accessibility. Reaching and identifying the community in need is the first step to bring them hope, which is essential for the situation’s recovery and/or stabilization. This way they can be empowered to apply the resources given to them and to reach and motivate others to do the same. We will briefly describe important tools to incorporate in our counseling to the affected communities. These include informing the patient the proper ways to manage, troubleshoot and forestall (1) potential problems with their devices, (2) communication strategies, (3) falls prevention, (4) tinnitus management, (5) noise exposure orientation, (6) noise control strategies, among others. Although these situations are one that no one wants to experience, they become a tool to offer hope and to get closer to the community.These experiences give us the satisfaction of knowing that we are contributing in the mission of providing others a better quality of life.

  • Discuss the disaster’s audiological impact in the general community and in the audiology patients
  • Offer insights in how to effectively access and help the community in need
  • Share strategies/guides to effectively counsel the affected communities


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Maribiliz Irizarry (POC,Primary Presenter,Author), University of Puerto Rico,;
Maribiliz Irizarry Torres, currently attends to her third year in the Doctoral Program of Audiology of the University of Puerto Rico. She is serving as the Student Academy of Audiology Development Chair and as President in her local chapter. She also participated as volunteer member in Public Outreach Committee of the same organization. Maribiliz, completed her Bachelor Degree in Biology with a minor in Biomedics in the University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla Campus. Her interests includes physiology, noise control and vestibular disorders. She is also passionate about humanitarian, education and advocacy initiatives.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Claudia E. Puig Román (POC,Co-Presenter,Author), University of Puerto Rico,;
Claudia E. Puig Román is a third year Doctoral Audiology student at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus. Her major interests within the Audiology profession are physiology, amplification and counseling. She has Bachelor Degree of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. Besides enjoying the studying and learning process, Claudia is an active, dynamic and leading person. She has been part of the Student Academy of Audiology local chapter since 2016, and has participated in many community service activities. In a future, she visualizes herself practicing the profession in her own clinic and offering audiological services to the Puerto Rican population.

Financial -

Nonfinancial -


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.