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Glossary: D


The word deaf is most often associated with two meanings:

1. Notated as deaf with a lowercase d, this refers to either one or many of whom deafness is predominantly an audiological experience. This means someone who is partially or wholly lacking hearing, either when they were born, through pernicious disease early in life, or later in life. The term refers to the idea in the strictest sense: the condition and state of being deaf, nothing more.

2. The other definition is referred to as Deaf with a capital D - it is any person or persons who "identifies him/herself as a member of the Deaf community, and other members accept that person as a part of the community." Many Deaf perceive their community akin to other language minority communities, and share a sense of Deaf Culture.

Deaf awareness

An understanding of the types and levels of deafness, deaf culture and language, terminology used to talk about deafness, and an understanding of access issues for deaf people and how to improve these.

Decibel (dB)

Used to measure sound level.  Different levels of deafness can be described as a decibel (dB) hearing level (how loud a sound has to be for your child to hear it) or described using terms such as "mild," "moderate," "severe" or "profound".

Department for Education

Formerly the Department for Children, Schools and Families.  This government department is responsible for education and children's services.

Direct audio input

Allows you to connect your child's hearing instrument directly to other audio equipment, for example a radio aid, school language lab equipment, computer or a personal CD player.


 the legal definition is when a person has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities. Long-term means lasting, or likely to last, at least 12 months.

Disability Appeal Tribunal (First Tier Tribunal)

The Tribunals responsibility is to look again at the decision the Department for Work and Pensions have made (for example regarding Disability Living Allowance), decide if it is correct and replace it with the correct decision if it is not. The tribunal panel is completely independent of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and is made up of three people.  A lawyer (barrister or solicitor) is the chairperson.  There is also a doctor, and a “layperson” who has knowledge about disability.   

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

A benefit for people who have a long term illness or disability.


The chemical that genes and chromosomes are made from.


A changed gene whose effect is “dominant”.


A small drill used to help remove old tubing from an earmould.