About SoundSkills

SoundSkills: hearing skills for sound learning

SoundSkills is a specialist service for children and adults with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD). SoundSkills provides a full range of diagnostic and treatment services in Auckland, New Zealand.

The SoundSkills Story

SoundSkills was started by Audiologist Dr Bill Keith to provide an expert comprehensive service for the management of APD, a neglected and under-funded area of hearing services. Having studied APD in the United States, and dismayed at the lack of APD services in New Zealand, Dr Keith brought together a multi-disciplinary team to set about developing better APD services in New Zealand.

SoundSkills Vision

SoundSkills' vision is to assist people with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) to hear normally.

SoundSkills Mission

SoundSkills' mission is:

to translate scientific research on APD into clinical practice

to offer comprehensive, expert and up-to-date diagnostic and treatment services for APD

to develop model APD services for others to follow

to advocate for better funding and services for people with APD

to increase awareness of APD.

SoundSkills Values

  • Ethical and professional services
  • A supportive and caring culture
  • Expert knowledge and advice

Soundskills team

Dr Bill Keith QSO PhD MNZAS

Dr Bill Keith is an audiologist with over twenty years public sector and twenty years private sector experience.

Bill was Principal Audiologist, National Audiology Centre, Department of Health, and was involved in establishing many hearing services and policies in New Zealand including the University of Auckland School of Medicine audiology training programme and New Zealand's first cochlear implant service. He has continued to consult on various national hearing policy issues.

He established the hearing aid company Phonak New Zealand Ltd (a subsidiary of the Swiss Sonova group) in New Zealand and managed it for eighteen years, earning a number of business awards during that time.

Bill has carried out hearing research in New Zealand and the United States.  He is also the inventor of an automated paediatric audiometer that was manufactured and exported from New Zealand for a number of years. 

With Phonak colleagues Bill was closely involved with Team New Zealand for over ten years in the development of specialised on-board crew communication systems for their Americas Cup yachts.

Bill has been awarded the honour of Companion of the Queen's Service Order for Public Service, a Fulbright Travel Award for his graduate studies at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and Life Memberships of the NZ Audiological Society and the Hearing Association, Auckland Branch. He is also a Past National President of the Hearing Association.

In 2011 he was awarded the International Award in Hearing by the American Academy of Audiology.

Over the past forty years Bill has served on numerous health, research, deafness, professional, business and voluntary organisation committees and Boards. He chairs the Northern Cochlear Implant Trust which manages government-funded cochlear implant services and is Deputy Chair of the associated Pindrop Foundation. He currently also serves on the Board of the Abilities Foundation Charitable Trust, the National Steering Team for Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (Project HIEDI), and the Scientific Committee and Board of the Deafness Research Foundation.

Bill currently runs SoundSkills, a specialist clinic for children and adults with auditory processing disorder (APD), which he has established to redress the lack of APD services in New Zealand.

Janene Houghton MA DipAud

Janene is a highly experienced New Zealand audiologist, trained in New Zealand and Australia. After a period working in the field in New Zealand, Janene’s husband was posted to Hong Kong where they lived for 14 years, raising three daughters and travelling extensively.  Janene continued her Audiological work in a variety of roles including as a clinical tutor in the Hearing and Speech Sciences program and as Senior Research Assistant at the University of Hong Kong.   She established a neonatal hearing screening programme as part of a joint research and clinical services development project between the University and the Hong Kong Adventist Hospital at which facility she was also instrumental in setting up a private Audiological clinic.

From 2006 to 2014 Janene worked in the University of Auckland Hearing and Tinnitus Clinic specialising in Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), both working clinically and tutoring  students from the Master of Audiology Programme in APD clinical practice.  Janene brings her specialist interest and skills to SoundSkills to continue providing assessment and best practice remedial support for children and families dealing with the challenges of auditory processing difficulties.

Janene has a special interest in the benefits of active musical training and APD, enjoying her own involvement as a member of the prestigious a cappella group, the Stellar Singers.

Janene is well recognised as one of New Zealand’s most experienced clinicians in the field of Auditory Processing.

Dr Anne Toth AuD CCC-A  MNZAS

Anne was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing in 1997 and a Master of Arts in Audiology in 1999 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her Doctor of Audiology studies were completed in 2004, from the University of Florida. Anne has been practicing Audiology since 1999, specialising in Diagnostics, Intraoperative Monitoring, Neurophysiology, and Hearing Instruments. She worked in the United States prior to moving to New Zealand in 2006, when Anne joined the Validation Team at the Hearing Instrument Technology Laboratory that was located at the University of Auckland, Tamaki Campus.

On completion of her contract, Anne decided to stay in New Zealand and is now employed at two clinics: SoundSkills, where she specialises in Auditory Processing Assessment and Treatment, and at the Hearing Association where she specialises in Diagnostic Hearing Assessments and Hearing Instruments.

In her spare time, Anne enjoys beading, crochet, and playing violin and viola with her band “Special Guests.” She is also a “furious” filmmaker, participating in 48-Hour Film Festivals as well as devoting many hours towards a 90 minute feature film “on the side”...

Jenny Coutts Dip Tchg, BEd, Grad Dip Lit Ed
Education Advisor

Jenny has 34 years’ experience as a primary school teacher, the last six years of which, she served as Deputy Principal and Special Education Needs Coordinator for her school.

Previously, Jenny had trained as a Resource Teacher for Literacy and worked in that role for two years, assisting children with literacy difficulties. As a Special Education Needs Coordinator, Jenny was responsible for services and care for all children with special needs in the school.

Jenny has undertaken additional special training in the management of Auditory Processing Disorder.