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   Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center
   on Hearing Enhancement

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            Gallaudet University Logo
     Gallaudet
     University



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Ruth A. Bentler, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

portrait of Ruth A. Bentler CURRENT LOCATION
  • University of Iowa

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

  • Ph.D. - University of Iowa, 1987
  • M.A. - University of Iowa, 1973
  • B.S. - University of Iowa, 1972

BIOGRAPHY AND RERC AFFILIATION

Dr. Bentler is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the American Academy of Audiology, as well as a member of the Acoustical Society of America and the International Society of Audiology. She is Director of AuD Studies at the University of Iowa where she teaches graduate students in courses related to hearing aids and adult auditory rehabilitation.  As the Director of the Hearing Aid Laboratory for Basic and Applied Research within the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Dr. Bentler has been involved in numerous research endeavors involving directional microphones, digital noise reduction, and, most currently, frequency lowering algorithms. She has authored over 80 articles and chapters related to hearing aid technology and fitting practices. Outside of the academic setting, she is the Global Director of the Hearing Aid Program for Special Olympics International, and the Co-Director of the Iowa China Project.

Dr. Bentler has two research projects in the current RERC cycle. The first (Project UI1 ” A randomized control trial of service provision following hearing aid issuance) is intended to better understand the value of the rehabilitative process. To date there is little evidence that the amount of time (and effort) spent in the hearing aid fitting/training session is related to the ultimate success of the hearing aid user. Approximately 23% of the hearing impaired population currently own hearing aids, and in an effort to further penetrate that “market,” mail-order sales and internet sales have increased. In addition, pressure has been placed on the federal government to reconsider its negative stance on over-the-counter sales of hearing aids. Until a database is generated relative to the consequences of the audiologic service component of hearing aid issuance, it is difficult to defend or deny these emerging practices. In the current climate of evidence-based practice (EBP), the clinician also needs data-based guidance relative to the extent of service needed to optimize user outcomes. The purpose of this study is to assess three levels of training following the issuance of hearings aids. Outcome measures related to satisfaction, disability/handicap reduction, and quality of life will be assessed at one month and three month post-issuance of the hearing aids.

The second (co-PI Yu-Hsiang Wu, UI7 ”Directional microphones: A systematice evaluation of directional microphones in natural environments”) has three aims: 1) To identify the impact of age-related changes on hearing aid microphone benefit and preference; 2) To study the paradoxical effect of reverberation on directional microphone benefit; and 3) To develop an accurate and reliable tool to assess the directional microphone in noise and reverberant environments.

For downloadable curriculum vitae, click here (~ 56 KB in size; requires Adobe Reader).

CONTACT INFORMATION

Email Address: ruth-bentler@uiowa.edu
Phone Number: 319-335-8723 (voice)
Website: http://www.uiowa.edu/~comsci/research/hal/index.html

 

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