Glossary of Common Terms

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Audiologist

Health care professional who is trained to evaluate hearing loss and related disorders, including balance (vestibular) disorders and tinnitus, and to rehabilitate individuals with hearing loss and related disorders. An audiologist uses a variety of tests and procedures to assess hearing and balance function and to fit and dispense hearing aids and other assistive devices for hearing.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Audiometer

A piece of equipment that presents different tones (from low to high pitch, usually within the speech range) at varying levels of loudness in order to assess a person's hearing sensitivity.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Auditory Brainstem Response Test (ABR)

Test performed during a newborn hearing screening. For this test, sounds are played to the baby's ears and electrodes are placed on the baby's head to detect responses. This test measures how the auditory nerve responds to sounds and can identify babies who have hearing loss.
Source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders


Auditory Cortex

The region of the brain that is responsible for processing auditory (sound) information.
Source: News Medical


Auditory Nerve

Eighth cranial nerve that connects the inner ear to the brainstem and is responsible for hearing and balance.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Auditory Neuropathy/Auditory Dyssynchrony (AN/AD)

Occurs when sound travels through to the inner ear normally, but the transmission of the auditory signals to the brain is impaired. Can affect children and adults; however, incidences are low. People with AN/AD generally have mild to severe hearing loss, and they always have poor speech perception no matter what level of hearing loss they have. Can be very difficult to diagnose, especially in children when their hearing abilities appear to change back and forth.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Auditory-Oral

An approach to teaching children to make maximum use of their residual hearing through amplification (hearing aids or cochlear implants), to augment their residual hearing with speechreading, and to speak. This approach excludes the use of sign language.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Auditory-Verbal

An approach that emphasizes the exclusive use of auditory skills through one-on-one teaching. It excludes the use of any type of sign language, while emphasizing the importance of placing children in the regular classroom ("mainstream education") as soon as possible.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Auditory-Verbal Educator (AVEd)

A hearing loss professional who teaches children with hearing loss to listen and talk exclusively through listening and spoken language instruction. Involves the family and works directly with children in individual, group, or classroom settings.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Auditory-Verbal Therapist (AVT)

A hearing loss professional who works one-on-one with children and families in all intervention sessions by demonstrating, guiding, and coaching parents to integrate listening and spoken language throughout their child's daily activities.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing