Our CAPD Specialist

Michael O. Webb, M.S.. CCC-A, FAAA (who prefers to be called “Mike”):  Mike is a veteran Clinical Audiologist and fitter of hearing device technology. In 1974, while an undergraduate, he became licensed in Arizona as a hearing instrument specialist, training in his mother’s hearing aid practice.  He received his Masters degree in Clinical audiology from the University of Arizona in 1977.  In 1978, he became one of Arizona’s first ASHA-recognized Clinical Audiologists already licensed to dispense hearing aids, and has since contributed to the training of many other Audiologists in the hearing aid fitting specialty area.

His experience includes positions at the University of Arizona Hearing Clinic, at Moore, Duncan, and Huerta, P.A. (now Tucson Ear Nose & Throat) where he was founder and director of the Audiology/Hearing Aid DepartSHC Staff pictlureent.  In 1983, Mike established a  private practice at Sierra Hearing Center (SHC) in Sierra Vista, AZ, Cochise County’s original and largest Audiology practice.  SHC was sold to Audiology Hearing & Balance Services in April, 2015, and Mike continued on staff until December, 2015.  He has served adults, children, and special-needs patients in Cochise Country for over 30 years.

From 1993-1996, he took a three-year sabbatical to develop an audiology program in post-revolution Romania.   He was invited by the Ear, Nose, & Throat department of the Babes-Bolyai Medical University in Transylvania to undertake this project, focusing particularly on pediatric audiology and hearing aid availablity.  That program continues today.  He also has participated in hearing development projects and charitable outreaches in Mexico over the past 20 years.

CAPD Specialization:  “I was dragged into auditory processing work kicking and screaming,” Mike likes to joke.  “But I’m only half kidding,” he quickly adds.  CAPD was one of those mysterious realms reserved for “brainiac” researchers and neuro-psychologists or speech/language pathologists and education specialists.  Plus it was–and really still is–poorly defined in terms of medical classification and third-party reimbursement.  (Translation: “It’s a good way to starve as a professional.”)apd primary ruled

But…  “In 2005, a pesky speech-language professional started bugging me to see some children whose auditory behaviors and educational issues–not to mention impaired therapeutic progress–defied explanation with the data she had available.  she wanted me to ‘dig deeper’…which meant auditory processing.”  So, with a lot of misgiving, and a meager CAPD “toolbox,” he began to uncover the auditory processing disorders that were contributing to deficits plaguing these kids, their parents, and their therapeutic professionals.

Then we began to also diagnose adults with long-standing auditory struggles, but “normal” (peripheral) hearing.  Further, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had left a huge number of soldiers with blast-related traumatic brain injury (TBI), with resulting CAPD as a regular finding.  We have worked closely with the medical specialists at Fort Huachuca in diagnosing and treating a large number of these American heroes.  It’s an honor to help them.

Along the way, there has been a vast expansion of our “toolbox.”  Scores of hours of continuing education courses (involving thousands of miles of travel), a roller bag full of marked up CAPD textbooks, and almost $40,000 invested in multiple new and emerging test and treatment protocols, including brain-stem and cortical evoked-response measures (a specialized auditory-specific EEG procedure for obtaining objective involuntary neurological data about the function of the pathways of the central auditory nervous system [CANS]).  He also was the first in Arizona to obtain the Listening in Spatialized Noise Sentence Test (LiSN-S) developed by Australia’s prestigious National Acoustics Laboratory (NAL).

Obviously, the story has many more details we can’t include here.  Suffice it to say, CAPD has become Mike’s professional passion.  EAR-Central, PLLC, opened in February, 2016 as Mike’s practice limited to CAPD and neuro-audiology.  It is the outgrowth of, and vehicle for, pursuing that passion in a more strategically-focused and comprehensive way.  The expansion into offering of APD remediation/therapy programs, which we will talk about elsewhere in this site, is well established and continues to expand.

Mike is a frequent presenter for professionals and other groups regarding CAPD issues.  He speaks at national conferences, as well as local gatherings.  (See HOME page for “Upcoming Events.”) The well-respected “CAPD Bootcamp” venue, spearheaded by CAPD luminary Dr. Frank Musiek, included Mike in its faculty this year.  Our EAR-Central website attracts individual requests for information and assistance from around the world.  He is a frequent contributor of articles to forums on CAPD.  Mike is part of the editorial board of “TICAP: Topics in Central Auditory Processing” along with CAPD pioneer, Dr. Jack Katz.

Michael O. Webb, M.S., Clinical Audiologist, Affiliations:

  • Certified by the American Speech, Language & Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA)
  • Member, International Guild of Auditory Processing Specialists (IGAPS)
  • Fellow of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA)
  • Member of the Educational Audiology Association (EAA)
  • Member of the American Auditory Society (AAS)
  • Interactive Metronome® (IM) Certified Provider
  • Integrated Listening Systems® (iLs) Advanced Practioner

For a consultation appointment with Michael O. Webb, M.S., CAPD Specialist,

Call  1 (877) 456-4725


“Dear Parent…” –Why I am not “Dr. Webb”

Dear Parent:

I know you've struggled because you feel like you should call me "Dr. Webb."  Over the course of my audiology career, this has been a recurring issue for me: helping my patients know what to call me.  Because audiology is a "doctoring" profession, the natural assumption is that audiologists should have the title "Doctor."  Like medical doctors, dentists; etc.

When I trained in audiology, the required credential for practice was the Masters Degree in Audiology, which is what I have.  There were doctorates in audiology--the Ph.D.--which was the track for most interested in research and in teaching.  But the Ph.D. wasn't typically designed for the regular clinical crowd who did most of the actual "doctoring"with patients (there were exceptions, of course).

In the mid-90's (after a decade of proposals and planning) the audiology profession began the transition to making the Au.D. (Doctor of Audiology) degree the required entry level to practice audiology--a clinical doctorate (not to be confused with a medical physician).  We veterans who had practiced for decades with the Masters Degree were given the opportunity to transition to the Au.D. degree, but the choice was optional, unless a particular work position designated an Au.D. (or Ph.D.) as required (like most University teaching positions).

The mechanism for upgrade was a "Transitional Doctorate" degree which, while recognizing experience, still typically required about two years of "distance learning" courses and thousands of dollars.  For those working full-time careers and having families (and a life!), that was very demanding.  Many of my colleagues chose that route, and I applaud them.  I, however was in my fifties, had a large family and three busy offices, a large staff, and could not for the life of me make the leap back to school in order to simply change my degree.  Nothing much else in my particular world would have changed.  It didn't make sense to me.

It just so happened that at about that time, I was also being moved in the direction of increasing my practice in Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD).  And for anyone who takes the leap into CAPD practice, the learning curve is steep and demanding--audiologists simply aren't given more than superficial training in CAPD in most training programs (even Au.D. programs).  So to make a long story short, my decision was to invest tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and training--untold hours (over a decade) of continuing education, textbook and journal reviews, thousands of miles of travel for formal and informal educational opportunities in CAPD--my growing passion.

So, while it may seem natural to call me "Dr. Webb" because I am in a "doctoring" profession, and because you respect and wish to honor me as such, officially that is not my title.  So when people ask me what they should call me, I tell them: "Just call me Mike." The funny sidebar is, frequently, after I go through the litany of explaining all this to patients, they often say, "Oh, I see!  Thank you for explaining that, doctor." (Sigh.)

So, "Just call me Mike."  (I know it's hard, but you can do it!)

Warmly, Mike