University of South Florida

College of Behavioral and Community Sciences


Aging studies PhD candidate discusses disparities in hearing healthcare

Charity Lewis

Lewis is a PhD student in the School of Aging Studies and McKnight Fellow. 

Charity Lewis, a PhD student in the School of Aging Studies, recently served as a panelist for the National Black Association for Speech-Language and Hearing's audiology panel. The panelists included research audiologists and educators, and the event was open to the public via Zoom. 

Held in celebration of National Audiology Awareness Month, the discussion focused on the disparities in hearing healthcare and covered topics such as audiology awareness, auditory processing disorder, cochlear implants, educational audiology, and over-the-counter hearing aids.

Lewis's research interests include healthcare utilization in Black/African American older adults, age-related hearing loss, and the correlation between religion and healthcare outcomes in older adults. 

"As a future gerontologist, I am passionate about advocating for ways to improve the quality of life of older adults, which includes healthy hearing," Lewis said. 

According to Lewis, Black people are less likely to utilize hearing aids than other ethnic/racial groups, and untreated hearing loss is associated with cognitive decline and an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. 

"Through my participation in the panel, I hope to spread awareness of the importance of hearing healthcare and to inform healthcare providers of the lack of hearing aid utilization in Black individuals," said Lewis.

Return to article listing

About College of Behavioral & Community Sciences News

The Mission of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences (CBCS) is to advance knowledge through interdisciplinary teaching, research, and service that improves the capacity of individuals, families, and diverse communities to promote productive, satisfying, healthy, and safe lives across the lifespan. CBCS envisions the college as a globally recognized leader that creates innovative solutions to complex conditions that affect the behavior and well-being of individuals, families, and diverse communities.