Expanding understanding of dizziness and balance.

Interdisciplinary panel from 2019 meeting

The Purpose of the Society: to serve as a professional organization of clinicians, technicians, researchers, students, and other professionals. The American Balance Society is comprised of members who have an interest in vestibular and balance sciences and the assessment, diagnosis, and management of patients with vertigo, dizziness and impaired balance.

The Mission of the Society: to serve as a multi-disciplinary organization that strives not only to empower health care professionals to make evidenced-based, patient-centered decisions in the pursuit of improved clinical care for patients with dizziness, balance, and movement disorders, but to extend and expand our basic science knowledge of vestibular anatomy and physiology.

The Vision of the Society: to foster the dissemination of knowledge and exchange of information among professionals interested in both clinical care of patients with dizziness and imbalance and basic and clinical vestibular/balance researchers.

Annual Meeting

The American Balance Society meets the Tuesday and Wednesday immediately prior to the American Auditory Society Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, AZ. The 12th ABS meeting will convene on Tuesday 3/3/20 – Wednesday 3/4/20. These meetings serve as an excellent platform for the discussion of case studies, cutting-edge research, and clinical practice when working with patients having imbalance, dizziness, or vestibular impairment.

  • Abstract submission: open 10/17/19 – 12/01/19.
    Abstracts to include: Max 250 words, Title, Objectives, Design, Results, Conclusions, Authors, Affiliations, Conflict of interest statements for all authors, presentation type.
    o Do not cite references in the abstract
    o Limit the use of abbreviations and acronyms
    o email americanbalsociety@gmail.com if you would like further guidance.
  • Please complete the google form embedded below.


    4th year AuD Student and Vestibular Fellow presentations at ABS 2019. 


Contact Us

If you would like to be added to our email list, please contact us at americanbalsociety@gmail.com. Our emails contain content such as annual meeting information, ballots for upcoming society votes, and requests for abstracts to be considered for presentation at the annual meeting. Please note, full membership is required for voting. To determine your membership status see our Society Bylaws tab.

If your clinic is interested in posting for student opportunities (maymesters, externships, etc), job openings, or continuing education opportunities, please contact us with further details at: americanbalsociety@gmail.com


Fellowship Opportunities: Mayo Clinic Florida & Vanderbilt University Medical Center

  • Mayo Clinic Florida: Crawford Endowed Post-doctoral Fellowship in Otolaryngology and Audiology, Focus: The Patient Experience in Audiology and Otolaryngology Clinics
    Contact: David Zapala, PhD, zapala.david@mayo.edu, 904-953-0828
  • The Department of Otolaryngology and Audiology at the Mayo Clinic in Florida is offering a 1-2 year post-Doctoral fellowship experience for recent Ph.D., Au.D. , or M.D. graduates who have an interest in developing a publication portfolio in applied clinical research.  We are developing evidence based processes that emphasize efficient, patient centered assessment and ultimately improve the overall patient experience for those receiving hearing and balance services.  The ideal candidate is a self-starter who has a solid understanding of clinical hearing and balance assessment, strong written and verbal communication skills, and is strongly motivated to improve the science of hearing and balance healthcare delivery.  Opportunities to participate in NIH funded research and grant writing training are available.  The post-doctoral fellow will not provide direct patient care. Rather, the successful applicant will collaborate with the clinical and research staff within the department and across the Mayo Clinic.
  • About Mayo Jacksonville: Mayo Clinic is located in Jacksonville, FL, the largest city in area in the continental United States.  Jacksonville is a beautiful coastal Florida city that features excellent year-round climate, over 20 miles of beaches and outstanding outdoor recreational, cultural and family-oriented amenities. The “River City by the Sea” has an excellent school system, reasonable cost of living and a thriving business environment. Medical professionals and patients are drawn to Jacksonville by an extraordinary network of high-profile healthcare facilities. Jacksonville continues to grow as more people relocate from all over the U.S. and abroad, to see what the great River City has to offer!
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine:
  • The Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at Vanderbilt University is announcing the immediate availability of a 1-year Fellowship in Vestibular Sciences.  This will be the 5th year we have offered our Vestibular Sciences Fellowship program. The candidate will work in the Division of Vestibular Sciences with Gary P. Jacobson, Ph.D. and, Richard A. Roberts, Ph.D. along with staff clinicians. The candidate will be expected to contribute to our clinical research program.  Further, the successful candidate will be given the opportunity to audit our vestibular sciences curriculum (Vestibular Sciences 1-3) and may be given the opportunity to teach in our academic program. The Fellow position will be split 80%/20% or 75%/25% between clinic and research. 
  • The clinical component of the position will take place in our Balance Disorders Clinic (Main Campus) where we evaluate ~1500 vertiginous/dizzy/unsteady patients annually (m~40 patients each week). This 12-month appointment will commence on or about September 2, 2019 and end on or about August 28, 2020. 
  • The ideal candidate will possess an Au.D. from a regionally-accredited academic institution, hold the CCC-A, and, have clinical and/or research experience in the assessment of vertiginous, dizzy and unsteady patients. The successful applicant will be compensated at the rate of a newly graduated, licensed and ASHA-certified Audiologist.  Special preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate experience in scientific publishing. Interested applicants should forward a letter of interest and their updated curriculum vitae to: gary.jacobson@vumc.org & richard.a.roberts@vumc.org. 
  • We will be accepting applicant materials through the end of the AAA meeting in Columbus, OH (March 30, 2019). 

Job Opportunities:
James H. Quillen VA Medical Center

  • James H. Quillen VA Medical Center: currently recruiting for a Research Audiologist. For more information and to apply please visit USA Jobs at the following link: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/521584600 .(Applications will only be accepted thru USA Jobs. Please do not submit application packets via fax, mail or email.)

    About the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center:
    James H. Quillen VA Medical Center is a tertiary care facility. It is a teaching hospital, providing a full range of patient care services, with state-of-the-art technology as well as education and
    research. Comprehensive health care is provided through primary care, tertiary care, and long-term care in areas of medicine, surgery, psychiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology,
    oncology, dentistry, geriatrics, and extended care In addition to providing acute care, the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center offers geriatric and rehabilitation services through its 120-bed
    Community Living Center. The facility also operates a 150-bed Domiciliary that offers a variety of treatment options, which includes a Homeless inpatient treatment program and Homeless
    Outreach. A U.S. National Cemetery is also located on the grounds of the VA.

    About Johnson CityJohnson City can best be described as a goal-oriented, high-energy, family-centered city with diverse economic components. Education, business, industry, civic and community organizations, and local government pull together to keep the city moving forward. Experience invigorating music, amazing outdoor activities, and
    enchanting culture and history. Local festivals include Unity in the Community Festival http://www.umojajc.org/, Blue Plum Festival, Apple Festival, and the Rhythm and Roots Reunion in nearby Bristol Tennessee/Virginia. Enjoy year round outdoor activities at our area lakes and parks, and just a stone’s throw away you’ll find renowned attractions such as Barter Theatre, Bristol Motor Speedway and Asheville North Carolina’s Biltmore House. For the Sports enthusiast you can cheer on future baseball hall of famers with the area’s rookie league baseball team – the Johnson City Cardinals! Johnson City offers an affordable cost of living, no state income tax, and excellent schools and universities! Start your Adventure in Johnson City, Tennessee! A Hometown Heart with a Big City Soul!
    Visit us on: https://www.facebook.com/JohnsonCityCVB


Society Board & Bylaws

The bylaws of the American Balance Society are available for review here: ABS ByLaws (Revised 2016).

2019 ABS Board Members:
President: Neil Shepard
President elect: Kristen Janky
Board Members: Jamie Bogle, Owen Murnane, Habib Rizk, Chris Zalewski, Kristal Riska, Jorge Gonzalez
Student Representative: Paige Brandsdorfer

January 2020 ABS Board Members:
President: Kristen Janky
President elect: Chris Zalewski
Board Members: Owen Murnane, Habib Rizk, Kristal Riska, Jorge Gonzalez, Richard Clendaniel, Shelly Massingale
Student Representative: Paige Brandsdorfer

ABS 2019 board meeting, seated left to right:
Chris Zalewski, Jamie Bogle, Jorge Gonzalez, Habib Risk,
Neal Shepard, Kristal Riska, Kristen Janky, Paige Brandsdorfer.
Photo credit: Julie Honaker

Society History

A Historical Perspective of the American Balance Society – If you build it, will people come?

On a sunny afternoon in Scottsdale, Arizona on March 4, 2008, a small group of individuals met to discuss the notion of forming a U.S. based professional vestibular society.  The idea was simple enough; form a professional organization “to represent individuals with an interest in the diagnosis and treatment of those with disorders of vestibular function, those with impaired balance abilities, and those with dizziness”.

There were four individuals in attendance during that sunny afternoon meeting; Bob Burkard, Gary Jacobson, Neil Shepard, and David Zapala.  With a unanimous decision and an Ad-Hoc “Board of Directors” in place, the “Four Founding Father’s” set out to stimulate interest in the formation of the American Balance Society (ABS).  Their first goal was quickly agreed upon; establishment of the first annual ABS Scientific Conference.

However, like any new scientific meeting, a great deal of preliminary work needed to be done during the initial formation year.  Bylaws had to be written.  A potential partnership had to be formed.  A conference program had to be constructed.  Meeting space had to be reserved.  Abstracts had to be solicited.  And a business meeting had to be developed.  But one thing still lingered uncertain in the Founding Father’s minds.  If they built it, would people come?  Creating a scientific meeting for one year is relatively easy.  Building a Society is not.

From preliminary inquiries, the interest in offering the meeting was palpable.  A partnership was soon established with the American Auditory Society (AAS) and the meeting was set: Wednesday, March 4, 2009 – one day prior to the AAS Scientific Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona.  It appeared formation of the American Balance Society was gaining substantial traction.

During the preliminary year, Bylaws were constructed, abstracts were solicited, and a conference program was created.  Following a modestly advertised conference, a total of 43 people registered for the first annual ABS Meeting.  It was a reputable Who’s Who of vestibular clinicians and researchers.  The American Balance Society was officially born. But now what?

With a strong foundation and profound passion, many clinicians and researchers came together to unify the focus and mission of the Society.  Led by a strong leadership, the future looked bright.  The initial Board of Directors from 2008-2012 was steadfast in foresight and clear in developing the Society’s mission.

Original Board of Directors: Bob Burkard, Neil Shepard, David Zapala, Gary Jacobson and Lew Nashner joining in 2010.

Past Presidents: Gary Jacobson (2012 – 2014) Bob Burkard (2014 – 2016)

Founding Fathers Fashion, as modeled by Neil & Gary

Over the years, the American Balance Society prospered into a reputable Society, composed of Audiologists, Physical Therapists, Physicians and Researchers all with one similar vestibular interest and one unifying mission:

“To serve as a multi-disciplinary organization that strives not only to empower health care professionals to make evidenced-based, patient-centered decisions in the pursuit of improved clinical care for patients with dizziness, balance, and movement disorders, but to extend and expand our basic science knowledge of vestibular anatomy and physiology.”

In less than one decade, conference attendance more than doubled in size to 97 registrants in 2016.  The leadership quickly expanded to President, President-Elect, six Board of Directors, and one Ex-Officio Student Representative.  Together, the leadership quickly organized and established various committees that were tasked with maintaining and promoting the mission of the Society.

Since 2008, any doubt has completely subsided and faded on the initial question on the Four Founding Fathers minds; that, if you build it – will people will come?  A cliché?  Perhaps.  But for a highly specialized field of clinical practice and research, the American Balance Society and its Annual Scientific Meeting continues to offer a unique and highly motivating environment for a respected group of individuals in the field of vestibular science and clinical practice.

Written by ABS’ unofficial historian and vestibular history buff: Chris Zalewski