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hearing loss Glossary

ALD – see assistive listening device

ALDA – see Association of Late Deafened Adults

American Sign Language – a manual language that uses the hands, facial expression, and body movements for expression, and is visually received. Additional information

ASL – see American Sign Language

Assistive listening Device – a device that assists a person to receive auditory information, usually designed for a specific situation. See assistive listening devices (ALDs) for people with hearing loss.

Association of Late Deafened Adults – an international organization with local chapters that provides support and information for people with hearing loss. Despite the name, membership is not limited to late-deafened people. Additional information

Audiologically Deaf – a term used to describe the fact of being deaf from a physical or audiological perspective. The term is normally used in contrast to the term “Culturally Deaf” (see below). For additional information see characteristics of deaf community subgroups.

CART – see Communications Access Realtime Translation (Captioning)

Communications Access Realtime Translation (Captioning) – A method of recording spoken information and displaying it in text format, so that people can read what is being said. The system generally uses a court reporting machine and computer to do the processing, and displays the text on a TV monitor or projects it onto a screen. Additional Information

Culturally Deaf – a person who generally became deaf before acquiring spoken language, or shortly thereafter, and uses American Sign Language (or another native sign language) as his or her primary language. Additional information

Deaf – When written with a lower case ‘d’, the word ‘deaf’ refers to the inability to hear. When written with an upper case ‘D’, the word ‘Deaf’ refers to Culturally Deaf people or culture. Additional information

Deaf Community – A term that is usually interpreted broadly to include all persons who have or are interested in hearing loss. Additional information

Deaf And Hard of Hearing – This run-on word is used to indicate a phrase that people speak as if it were a single word, and without thought to the implications of using the term. In this case, the word

“DeafAndHardOfHearing” is meant to illuminate the tendency to group two distinct groups (Deaf people and hard of hearing people) together as if they were a single group. The term slides off the tongue with bewildering ease; we’ve all said it so many times that we no longer even think about what it means. And there’s the rub!

GLAD – Greater Los Angeles Association of the Deaf – a Deaf services organization in Los Angeles that caters primarily to the Culturally Deaf.

Hard of hearing – a person with significant hearing loss, but still able to function in the hearing world, possibly with aids. Additional information

Hearing impaired – a broad term that refers to all persons with hearing loss. Additional information

HOH – see hard of hearing

HOH/LD – hard of hearing or late deafened

Late Deafened – a person who has lost the ability to understand speech through the ear, originating after acquisition of spoken language in a person raised in the hearing community. Additional information

LD – see late deafened

Meniere’s Disease – a disorder of the inner ear that can cause vertigo, nausea, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and fluctuating hearing loss. Any of these symptoms, if severe enough, can cause a temporary or prolonged disruption of normal home, social, and work activity. Additional information.

OHL – see Oral Hearing Loss

Oral Deaf – a person who was born deaf or became deaf before the acquisition of language and who relies on oral communication rather than sign language. Additional information

Oral Hearing Loss or Oral People with Hearing Loss – A term that includes all people with hearing loss who prefer spoken language as their primary means of communication. This includes the vast majority of hard of hearing, late-deafened, and oral deaf folks.

TDD – Telecommunications Device for the Deaf – This term, as opposed to “TTY“, is normally used by hard of hearing and late deafened people. See Text Telephone.

Text Telephone – a device that allows text communication over standard telephone equipment. Additional information.

Tinnitus – Tinnitus (pronounced ti-night’-us or tin’-i-tus), is the medical term for the perception of sound when no external sound is present; it is often referred to as “ringing in the ears.” It can also take the form of hissing, roaring, whistling, chirping or clicking. The noise can be intermittent or constant, with single or multiple tones; it can be subtle or at a life-shattering level. It can strike people of all ages and, for most, it does not go away. Additional information

TTY – Teletype – This term, as opposed to “TDD”, is normally used by culturally Deaf people. See Text Telephone.

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