Glossary of Common Terms

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Acoustic Highlighting

A technique used to heighten awareness of specific speech sounds by slightly emphasizing (highlighting) it. Examples include making a sound longer, using a slightly higher pitch for the word your child did not hear, whispering certain sounds, or pausing before and after the target word.
Source: John Tracy Clinic


Air Conduction

An evaluative measure performed during diagnostic audiologic testing whereby sound is delivered via earphones through the ear canal, the eardrum, and middle ear to the inner ear to assess hearing sensitivity. (Contrasts with Bone Conduction.)
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


American Sign Language (ASL)

Manual language with its own syntax and grammar, used primarily by people who are deaf.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

The national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for members and affiliates who are audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language, and hearing scientists, audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel, and students.
Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Landmark legislation protecting the rights of people with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Amplification

The use of hearing aids and other electronic devices to increase the loudness of sound so that it may be more easily received and understood.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Assistive Listening Devices (ALD)

A group of systems including personal hearing aids, FM systems, and infrared systems that through special input enhance listening situations and auditory awareness for use of the telephone, television, amplified alarms, and signals.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Atresia

Closure of the ear canal and/or absence of an ear opening.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Audiogram

A graph on which a person's ability to hear different pitches (frequencies) at different volumes (intensities) of sound is recorded.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Audiological Evaluation

Also called Comprehensive Hearing Testing or Diagnostic Audiological Assessment, this is a series of diagnostic hearing tests conducted by an audiologist to determine whether a hearing loss is present, what tones (pitches) are affected, how severe the hearing loss is, and the type of hearing loss. The evaluation also includes recommendations as to hearing loss management, including selection of an appropriate amplification.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing