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Minutes for the 4th General Assembly in Bari ITALY
Saturday 15th June 1996 14.00-17.00

J Prihodova (VR) Czech Republic (SPC)
A Parving (VR) Denmark
M.Anderson (NVR) Denmark
R Dauman (VR) France (Vice Chairman)
M Sorri (VR) Finland
J Hazell (VR) GB (Hon. Secretary)
G.Grisanti (VR) Italy
I Uloziene (VR) Lithuania
E Laukli (VR) Norway
M Bergman (VR) Israel
L Tell (NVR) Israel
A Quaranta (NVR) Italy
W Sulkowski (VR) Poland
A Pascu (VR) Romania
G Tavartkiladze (VR) Russia
S Arlinger (VR) Sweden (Chairman)
T Spillman (VR) Switzerland

1 Welcome
The meeting was opened with a welcome to delegates from Stig Arlinger.

2 Report from Chairman (Arlinger)
There was a short report on Council activities since the last General Assembly at Noordwijkerhout, March 1995. The Council had met twice, once in Oulu in Jan 1996, as guests of the municipality of Oulu to review facilities for the 1999 conference. The second occasion had been in Prague to discuss the final arrangements for the 1997 EFAS conference. A financial report on from the secretariat was presented and is attached to the minutes.

EFAS now has a home page on internet http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~rmjg101/efas1.html

News about EFAS and reports on its activities are now published here, and representatives are encouraged to use this method for updating their information on EFAS.

3 Minutes of last meeting, matters arising:
The secretary reviewed the last minutes which had already been circulated. There were no comments or amendments.

3.1 Prague Conference.
Jarka Prihodova reported that there were already 100 registrants. There was discussion about the strategy for sending out the 2nd announcement for the conference. Several representatives said they had not yet received the first announcement. It was essential to use country representatives, who must promote the conference as their (EFAS) conference. Single sheet format would be provided as easier to distribute through national society mailings and newsletters. There was no substitute for personal advertisement through colleagues, and identifying those likely to attend in each country. Announcements should appear in IFOS newsletter, ENT and audiology journals, and Hearing International. Grandori agreed to include information in his newsletter. The Hon. Sec. will be publishing information on Internet. Prihodova said the secretariat would be moving shortly, but continuity was assured.

The scientific committee had decided on the overall programme including 8 round tables, although the convenor of the Speech and Hearing session had not been found. A discussion followed about this, and Grandori suggested that the topic of Hearing Screening might be substituted, as this would enable the European concerted action group to support the conference by inviting speakers and bringing additional delegates.

The social programme will include a concert and a gala dinner, but there will be no time for a tour within the time allotted, but pre/post congress tours are likely. There was no interest from exhibitors yet. EFAS representatives should make every effort to encourage colleagues who might exhibit to attend. 20 minutes would be allowed for presentations by exhibitors in 'prime time'.

3.2 Oulu conference 1999
Martti Sorri showed us a poster and comments were received. The programme was not decided yet but topics would likely include teaching in audiology, noise induced hearing loss, hereditary hearing loss and long term outcome of rehabilitation. The topic of artificial intelligence in audiology was proposed. E Laukli (Norway) said the IERA study group meeting would take place in Tromso the week before Oulu, and it might be possible to provide a coach trip to connect the two meetings.

3.3 Nominations committee (Bergman, Welzl-Muller and Pascu)
There was discussion about impending council elections. New posts to be filled are those of Vice Chairman, and Member at Large. Chairman becomes immediate past chairman. Council members may be re-elected up to a maximum of six years office. Dauman said that there was a need to maintain the present members of council while EFAS is in its early years. Bergman asked for direction about how many nominations should be presented to the general assembly. After discussion it was agreed unanimously that there should be two nominations for each office decided by the nominations committee, after suggestions are received from representatives. Representatives were reminded that they should ask their national societies for their views first. The question of extending the council was raised, but requires a change in the by-laws (3 months notice to the next general assembly). Council would discuss the matter.

4 Reports from Working Groups
Rene Dauman reported work on a questionnaire to be sent to representatives. There were no reports from working groups 2 or 3, it was hoped more information would be available later in the week.

5 Tempus programme
The Chairman reported on the success of the Tempus programme providing training in Audiology for professionals from eastern European countries. Only Romania (Pascu) was successful in getting EC funding, but due to the generosity of Cochlear Co, IHEMA, and funding from Agnete Parving with help from several Danish companies, it was possible to fund a further 2 students from the Czech republic, and one from the Slovak republic. Each student attended a 7 week course at each of 6 different university centres in Europe. Travelling between centres at weekends made the course physically and mentally challenging, but all the students performed very well. A full report on the programme will be posted on our Internet pages in the near future.

Prihodova reported that the Czech students were already teaching in a university programme. Stage 2 of the Romanian Tempus programme will provide a programme in Romania to teach audiology technicians. The intention was to continue this training beyond year 2, on an indefinite basis. Prihodova conveyed the deep thanks of her students for the opportunity they had had to attend the course.

8 Natasha
Considerable work had been done by Verschuure in his application for funding for this project from the EC. It was concerned with preparing poly-language and psycho-acoustical protocols to support the correct fitting of the next generation of hearing aids. Unfortunately the project had been turned down. It is hoped that he can make a successful reapplication. Verschuure to report later during the conference.

9 EFAS relationships
Wissenraet: The Chairman reported that account received from the firm advising us about Tempus could not be paid. Our original plan was for their fees to be incorporated into the funding, but this was forbidden under the rules of Tempus. Council felt that Wissenraet should have known this.

New National Societies: Germany is about to form a new national society, and Russia was presently doing so. An Estonian representative for EFAS would be identified at the conference (Kai Uus). A report was received from P Govaerts about the formation of the Belgian audiology society which has about 70 members.

IFHOH:The Chairman reported that through the Swedish Society of Audiology contact has been established with the Hard of Hearing group in order to find a common platform for a steady relationship with the European Union. The possibility of future interaction would be pursued.

Prihodova stressed the importance of Teachers of the Deaf, and their involvement with EFAS, supported by Tell who said relationships in Israel were good between these groups.

10 Concerted Action Group - Grandori
Grandori outlined his plans for a further CAG on testing methods and devices on OAE. He expressed the achievements on CAG in increasing the visibility of Audiology at large. A new proposal includes 'AHEAD' - hearing screening methods, 'PAN' - effects of noise and 'HEAR' concerned with hereditary deafness. He welcomed suggestions from EFAS representatives as the committee and its exact protocol had not yet been formed. Parving strongly supported these proposals and suggested that the topic should be included as a round table topic in Prague. If this could not be achieved then a pre or post conference satellite meeting should be convened.

11 Date of next meeting
The next general assembly would be held in Prague, Wednesday 18th June 1997 14.00-18.00

Please note attendance is for EFAS representatives only. If you wish to be considered for nomination as a representative, contact your own national society of Audiology.

Jonathan Hazell, Hon Secretary EFAS, 28th June 1996