The following is a short article in the ASHA Magazine, November 1981, Vol. 23:11, p. 858, and is reprinted below with permission of ASHA.

A Short History of Audiology and Aural Rehabilitation

as told by Leo Doerfler

In 1943, Aural Rehabilitation programs were established for returning soldiers with hearing loss, in hopes that after rehabilitation of their hearing, they might be returned to their units. Three programs were established and run by enlisted soldiers. The first program was established at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC. Following that, programs were set up at Deshon Hospital in Pennsylvania. They were staffed by Francis Sonday, Leo Doerfler, Wayne Jeans, Hugo Schunhoff, and later Raymond Carhart. The next program was established in Borden General Hospital in Chichashea, Oklahoma with soldiers like Louis Di Carlo and Grant Fairbanks in charge of the program. Hoff General Hospital in Santa Barbara, California was directed by Moe Bergman. After these programs had been in action for approximately a year, the navy sent in observers to begin the process of establishing aural rehab for the Navy.

Carhart went back to Northwestern, as did Doerfler, and received a doctorate, not in audiology but in speech and psychology, as there was no audiology per se. In 1947, Carhart, Silverman, and Gatz decided it was time for them to organize themselves into a more cohesive group. They met at CID along with Hollowell Davis and Doerfler. The meeting was also attended by Wendell Johnson and Grant Fairbanks who wanted the group to join with the Speech Association. The audiologists greatly feared that they might lose their identity but agreed to join if they might always be able to determine their own destiny and that the name of the organization reflect the hearing component. Thus, the American Speech and Hearing Association.

added with permission from ASHA
December 20, 2004