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Glossary: C


A person who carries a changed copy of a gene.

Children's Hearing Services Working Groups (CHSWGs)

CHSWGs are usually based in health authority areas, and are a way for services to work together to make sure that deaf children and their families have good quality local support which meets their needs. Each group usually includes representatives from health (like audiologists and paediatricians), education, local charities, local authority services, the National Deaf Children’s Society and parents of deaf children, who have a unique overview and experience of those services.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

Specialist service for children and young people with mental health or significant emotional or behavioural difficulties.

Child's plan

In line with the GIRFEC approach, the child's plan gives an overall picture of work to promote a child's well-being and may contain education plans such as IEP, or CSP (Scotland).


An abnormal collection of skin cells which can form into a cyst or pouch of skin within the middle ear and is usually due to repeated infection.


One of 46 strings of genetic material contained in the middle of a cell.


The part of the inner ear that is shaped like a snail shell. The cochlea contains thousands of tiny hair cells, which vibrate in response to sound. These vibrations are converted into electrical signals, which are carried to the brain by the auditory nerve to be interpreted and given meaning. Damage to these hair cells can be a cause of sensorineural deafness.

Cochlear implant

A cochlear implant consists of an internal receiver/electrode package that is surgically implanted behind the ear and into the cochlea, and an external speech processor worn on the ear like a hearing aid. A cochlear implant provides a means of hearing for children and adults who otherwise receive no or limited benefit from conventional hearing aids.

Code of practice

Guidance issued by the government for schools and local authorities (or education authority in Northern Ireland) on identifying and making provision for children with special educational needs/additional support needs. Each of the four UK countries has its own code of practice.

Common Assessment Framework (CAF)

A standardised approach to conducting an assessment of a child's additional needs and deciding how those needs should be met. It can be used by practitioners across children's services (England)

Communication support worker (CSW)

These professionals work in many different kinds of situations to help deaf people communicate with others - including schools, colleges and universities.  At school, they help the student to understand the lessons and to communicate with their teachers and other students.  They may use British Sign Language, Irish Sign Language or another method of communication such as Signed Supported English (SSE).

Community doctor in audiology

A doctor who works in a community audiology service. Their role includes diagnosis and rehabilitation of hearing problems, often manage local screening services and mostly work with children. 

Conductive deafness

When sound cannot pass efficiently through the outer ear and middle ear to the cochlea and auditory nerve.

Conference microphone

A type of microphone used with a Radio Aid (FM) system. These are used for small group situations in the classroom, and are usually designed to sit in the middle of a table to pick up sounds from the surrounding area.  They can be very useful but may also pick up unwanted sounds nearby such as paper rustling, objects being moved on the table or the table vibrating.

Coordinated Support Plan (CSP)

Scotland.  A legal document which sets out additional support and provision required for children and young people who have long term, complex or multiple needs.  In England, Wales and Northern Ireland this document is called a Statement of Special Educational Needs.


A common virus that may cause no symptoms, but can sometimes cause deafness in those with a weak immune system such as unborn babies.