Outreach (Photo by aJusticeNetwork, Flickr )

Communication Sciences and Disorders


Community Outreach Initiatives

Living with Hearing Loss Program (LWHL)

The LWHL program is a series of four weekly classes that explore the impacts of hearing loss, teach communication strategies for families, educate consumers about the technological solutions that are available and offer support for those experiencing hearing loss.  These classes are free to the public and are offered three times per semester.  Friends and family are encouraged to attend the classes in order to become more effective communicators as well.  Participants in the program report increased satisfaction with their communication abilities and an overall improvement in their quality of life.  This program is ideal for people who have just been diagnosed with hearing loss, those recently fit with hearing aids as well as people who have lived with hearing loss and hearing aids for many years.

Free Hearing Screenings

Multiple times throughout the year, free hearing screenings are offered at the University of Florida Hearing and Speech Clinic on a drop in basis.  UF’s Hearing and Speech clinic is located at 1405 NW 13th St, Suite B and is directly accessible by two RTS bus routes.  These screenings are ideal for persons who are curious about their hearing abilities and questioning whether or not they need to have a full evaluation.  Following the screening the results are explained thoroughly and recommendations are made for any further testing that may be necessary. 

Community Lectures

Audiologists from the University of Florida’s Hearing and Speech Clinic routinely give lectures on a variety of hearing healthcare topics to local churches, groups and civic organizations.  These lectures may be arranged either as a monthly series or as a one-time presentation on a particular topic. Custom tailored lectures can be arranged by contacting Michelle Colburn, Au.D. and discussing your group’s particular needs and interests.

Popular topics include:

Local School Support

Teams of audiologists, speech-language pathologists and students pursuing their graduate education routinely assist local schools in conducting annual hearing screenings.  These screenings include examining the ear and ear canal as well as a hearing assessment in order to identify problems that may inhibit a child from reaching their full potential.  Recommendations for follow-up are made based on a variety of problems that are identified. 

Health Fairs

Audiologists and speech-language pathologists from the University of Florida’s Speech and Hearing Clinic participate in a variety of health fairs in our community.  These health fairs present opportunities for participants to have their questions about disorders of hearing, speech, and language answered by a professional from our clinic.  Oftentimes we are able to offer free screenings during these health fairs with recommendations for follow up as needed.  Organizations interested in our participation can contact the clinic at 352-392-2041 for further assistance.

Restaurant Reviews

One of the most difficult things for a hearing impaired person to do is communicate in a noisy environment such as a restaurant.  Our “Restaurant Reviews” offer suggestions for which area establishments are good environments for communication, including times of the day that may be beneficial.  A majority of these suggestions come directly from our hearing impaired patients, so you don’t have to just take our word for it!

Educational programs on Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Audiologist’s from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders are partnering with area middle and high school band programs to educate the directors, members and their parents on the dangers of high noise levels and the impact of noise induced hearing loss.  Free screenings are offered to the bands in order to determine if any of the students are currently suffering the damaging effects of noise.  In addition to presentations, screenings and literature, the UF Hearing and Speech Clinic will be offering a variety of hearing protection devices at a reduced cost to the band members in order to help in the prevention of noise induced hearing loss.

International Outreach

Project Yucatan

Every year during spring break, a group from UF’s National Association of Future Doctors of Audiology (NAFDA) travel to Yucatan, Mexico to provide hearing healthcare to children and families in rural Mayan villages.  The services provided include visual examination of the ear and eardrum, wax removal, screening for middle ear fluid, testing for hearing loss and assessment and repair of hearing aids.  Due to contributions from companies and individuals the group is able to provide batteries and hearing aids to those in need as well as medication, sanitizing supplies and testing equipment to the local clinic for follow-up treatment.  Each year the NAFDA group touches the lives of more than 500 people in Yucatan and in return they personally gain experiences that will make them more well-rounded audiologists in the future.


Michelle Colburn, AuD
Clinical Associate Professor
Director of Clinical Audiology
352-392-2113 x 258

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2014 Turlington Hall
P.O Box 117300
Gainesville FL 32611
P: 352.392.0780
F: 352.392.3584