Skip to Content

Catherine Palmer, PhD


Dr. Palmer’s extensive research and educational efforts have focused on hearing aid and sound amplification technology for people with hearing loss.  Her recent work has included: conducting research with local school districts to determine the most effective classroom sound amplification systems that have proven to minimize behavioral problems and maximize academic achievement in kindergarten, first- and second-graders; working with airline and manufacturing industries to improve employee hearing protection; and assisting caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients—who often are elderly spouses themselves with hearing loss—to improve their quality of life with appropriate and properly fitted hearing-assist devices. She currently is conducting research focusing on the adaptation of the human auditory system to amplified signals.

Dr. Palmer earned her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders and bachelor of arts degree in multi-cultural elementary education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1984; her master’s degree in audiology and hearing impairment at Northwestern University in 1985; and her doctorate in audiology and hearing impairment at Northwestern in 1991.

She has authored three books, three software programs, more than 20 invited book chapters and journal articles and more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles. She is a frequent invited presenter at professional speech, language and hearing meetings around the world and a member of numerous professional speech, language and hearing organizations.