Our History

For over four decades, ATA has been the primary resource for tinnitus patients around the country.

1971 – ATA came about through the efforts of Charles Unice, M.D.

1975 – The first ATA newsletter is sent out to members in April. The newsletter notes that, “There are about 95 members of ATA.”

1976 – ATA forms a Scientific Advisory Committee to guide the association in all areas of tinnitus science and research. This committee is comprised of leading specialists in tinnitus and other auditory disorders.

1977 – ATA coordinates nationwide educational workshops on tinnitus, providing information to more than 1,200 hearing health professionals.

1980 – ATA awards its first tinnitus research grant to Mary B. Meikle, Ph.D., who uses the money to start the first-ever registry of tinnitus patients. The project eventually attracts funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and grows into a valuable tool for tinnitus researchers.

1982 – ATA establishes a nationwide support group network, helping tinnitus patients connect with each other and learn from shared experience.

1986 – Jack A. Vernon, Ph.D., and Gloria Reich, Ph.D., former Executive Director appear on the MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour.

1988 – ATA's newsletter, published since 1975, becomes Tinnitus Today, a regular magazine focused on the needs of tinnitus patients.

1995 – ATA hosts the Fifth International Tinnitus Seminar in Portland, Oregon. Scientists from 25 countries appear and present papers about tinnitus.

2004 – Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor ATA creates The FDL Tinnitus Assistance Fund to financially assist in-need tinnitus patients with hearing evaluations and treatments.

2005 –  ATA develops the Roadmap to a Cure, an innovative guide that identifies what researchers now know about tinnitus and what information is needed to develop a cure.

2007 – ATA adopts a more focused mission to fund resources to advance research that will lead to a tinnitus cure.

2008 – Awards a record high $595,462 in annual research grants.

2009 - Tinnitus becomes the leading service-connected disability for veterans from all periods of service helping to raise the urgency for tinnitus solutions.

2009 – The first ATA Walk to Silence Tinnitus is held in Orange County, CA. This event goes on to become an annual tradition, raising valuable resources for tinnitus research and support programs.

2010 – ATA’s historical aggregate research allocations exceed $5 million.

2011 – ATA celebrates its 40th Anniversary.

2012 - ATA's advocacy work exponentially increases tinnitus research funding by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs.

2013 - ATA appears on an expert panel on the McCuistion program to discuss the latest advances in tinnitus research and treatment.

2015 – ATA launches an organizational rebrand, plus a new, patient-focused association website, with expanded information.

2016 - ATA launches new patient-focused mission.

2016 - ATA gives Tinnitus Today a complete graphic and content overhaul to match its new patient-focused mission.

2017 - ATA launches Conversations in Tinnitus podcast series.

2017 - ATA moves its headquarters to the Washington, D.C. metro area to be at the center of research and advocacy.

2018 - ATA exceeds $6 million in seed grants with the funding of two second year proposals.

2019 - The ATA is invited to speak again at the American Academy of Otolaryngology’s international conference based on feedback from 2018 attendees regarding relevance, quality, and interest.

2019 - The ATA inaugurates the Tinnitus Advisors Program (TinnAP™) to provide professional guidance to callers on tinnitus management and where to seek help from appropriate healthcare providers.

2020 - Tinnitus Today magazine receives award for its publication “Tinnitus in a Time of Chaos,” which addresses the mental-health toll of tinnitus.

2021 - The ATA celebrates its 50th year by issuing $298,000 in research grants and calling on the tinnitus community to raise additional money for a new ATA Golden Anniversary Grant.