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Glossary: E


Also known as the tympanic membrane, the eardrum is a thin membrane at the end of the ear canal. Sound waves cause it to vibrate.

Ear, nose and throat (ENT)

A hospital department that specialises in conditions of the ear, nose or throat. An ENT doctor or surgeon looks after the structures which cause your child’s deafness, such as the cochlea, whereas an audiologist manages the effect of the deafness itself.

Early Years Additional Learning Needs Lead Officer (EYALNLO) – Wales

A key contact for families of deaf babies and young children who may have additional learning needs (ALN) and wish to have an Individual Development Plan (IDP). In Wales, each local authority has a duty to appoint an EYALNLO.

Early years support worker - England

A person who supports deaf children (from birth to two years old) and their families. They specialise in deafness in very young children and can be health visitors, social workers, or teachers of deaf children.


An earmould is the part of the hearing aid that fits into the ear. An audiologist will take an impression of the ear and then use this to make the earmould from an acrylic or silicone material. It should fit tightly into the ear to make sure that all the amplified sound from the hearing aid travels into the ear. Loose fitting earmoulds will cause escaping sound to re-enter the microphone and cause feedback (or whistling). If your child’s hearing aids are whistling, it could be a sign that their earmould isn’t pushed into their ear correctly or that they need new earmoulds.

Babies will need to get new earmoulds regularly as their ears grow quickly. As your child gets older, they won’t need new earmoulds as often.

Earmould puffer

Used to blow moisture out of an earmould and tubing.

Educational audiologist

A qualified Teacher of the Deaf (ToD) who also has a recognised qualification in audiology. They’re usually employed by education support services or in specialist deaf schools. They often provide or participate in hearing testing and hearing aid reviews for children in joint clinics within the community or hospital settings. They also provide guidance to schools, particularly around improving acoustics and listening conditions for deaf students.

Education Authority – Northern Ireland

The organisation responsible for delivering education and youth services in Northern Ireland. The Education Authority has a headquarters and five regional offices.

Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan – England

An EHC plan sets out a child or young person’s education, health and social care needs, the desired outcomes, and the support which is to be provided to help the child or young person achieve the desired outcomes. Identifying the desired outcomes and support needed should involve parents, professionals and, wherever possible, the child or young person. An EHC plan is drawn up by the local authority after an EHC needs assessment has determined that an EHC plan is necessary. Some professionals might refer to this as an EHCP.

Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessment – England

An assessment of a child or young person’s education, health and care needs, carried out by the local authority in consultation with relevant professionals such as Teachers of the Deaf, educational psychologists and speech and language therapists. Local authorities must consult the child or young person and their parents throughout the process. The needs assessment will determine whether a child or young person needs an EHC plan.

Educational psychologist

A qualified psychologist with training and experience in teaching. They help children who find it difficult to learn or to communicate with others, and they help schools develop ways of working with these children. They’re likely to assess a child in relation to a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) (Northern Ireland), Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan (England), Individual Development Plan (Wales) or a Coordinated Support Plan (Scotland).

Education Scotland – Scotland

The national body for supporting quality and improvement of learning and teaching in Scottish education.

Elbow (or tone hook)

The hard plastic tube that rests on top of the ear and connects the hearing aid to the flexible earmould tubing.

Electronic notetaker

Someone who is trained to provide a live, non-verbatim (not every word is typed) account of a lecture or class which is viewed by a deaf student via a laptop. They’ll be able to use specialist software and type at approximately 120 words per minute.

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) consultant

An ENT consultant is a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and managing disorders, diseases and injuries of the ear, nose and throat.

Eustachian tube

A tube which runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat. It usually allows the middle ear to be kept full of air, which means the ears can work properly. However, if the eustachian tube becomes blocked, air cannot enter the middle ear and the cells lining it begin to produce fluid. This makes it harder for sound to pass through to the inner ear and is known as glue ear (otitis media).

Exam access arrangements

Appropriate arrangements made for students to remove disadvantage in examinations, such as extra time or using a lipspeaker for language exams. Arrangements should be discussed before the start of the course in which the student will take the exam. Exam access arrangements must be part of a student’s ‘normal way of working.’