An Open Letter to the Membership of Auditory-Verbal International Judith A. Marlowe, Ph.D., FAAA

Our recently adopted ends policy statement propels AVI into the 21st Century with a formidable challenge to build upon the foundation laid by the pioneers who introduced the opportunity for children born deaf or hard of hearing to develop spoken language.

For Auditory-Verbal practice to be regarded as professionally credible, as an essential component of health and educational services, and to be routinely offered to families worldwide, we must demonstrate its efficacy in the most compelling manner. While we all delight in the success stories of families over the years, it is clear that today’s requirements for “evidence based practice” and “accountability” must be satisfied by high quality research that examines Auditory-Verbal practice and measures its outcome. Moreover, this research must be published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and presented at professional conferences to firmly establish Auditory-Verbal practice in the consciousness of health providers and public policy institutions as well as to energize our recruitment and professional education initiatives. While there have been excellent publications contributed by a number of professionals, more are needed.

Dr. Daniel Ling has advocated such formal investigation and publication throughout his long service to children and their families. For this reason, the creation of the Daniel Ling Research Award by AVI is long overdue. Despite current economic conditions, I believe the time for inaugurating this award is now! Universal early hearing detection is rapidly becoming a worldwide standard of care and offers Auditory-Verbal practice its greatest opportunity yet for global recognition. We must encourage quality research and its dissemination today – or risk being labeled as habilitation that is more dependent upon the “art” of individual practitioners than “science, artfully applied” that can be mastered by many.

Believing and speaking these words, however, are insufficient to ensure that AVI is able to take this important step that honors Daniel Ling, not by naming an award, but by stimulating the research that he has urged. Consequently, I will individually fund the first Daniel Ling Research Award in the hope that this action will speak louder than words. As one of the many who have been profoundly affected by Daniel Ling’s personal and professional contributions to Auditory-Verbal practice, this gift to AVI represents only a small fraction of the respect and gratitude that I feel he deserves.

I encourage every audiologist, therapist, physician, parent, as well as those who have learned to listen and speak through Auditory-Verbal practice to ensure that, once initiated, the Daniel Ling Research Award not only continues, but indeed flourishes. I can’t think of a better way to honor this gentleman and scholar, all the many therapists he has mentored, and all of the courageous families who have traveled the “road less taken” so their children could “grow up in learning and living environments that enable them to become independent, participating, and contributing citizens in mainstream society.”1

1 Auditory-Verbal International Position Statement

Scroll to Top