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Glossary: L

Late-onset deafness

When children are born hearing but become deaf later in life. This could be because of a genetic condition that causes deafness later in life or because of an illness or injury.

Learning support assistant (LSA)

Also known as a teaching assistant (TA), pupil support assistant (PSA) or classroom assistant. An LSA works alongside teachers in the classroom to support an individual student or a group of students. They might set up equipment and prepare lessons, listen to students reading, or help students with additional needs. LSAs are often involved in carrying out teaching and speech and language programmes alongside a specialist Teacher of the Deaf (ToD).

Most LSAs in secondary schools support students with additional needs.

Learning Support Coordinator (LSC) - Northern Ireland

A teacher who has been designated by the school or Education Authority to identify children with special educational needs (SEN) and to make sure they receive appropriate support. This may involve working directly with the child or supporting mainstream staff in assessing a child’s needs. LSCs used to be known as special educational needs coordinators (SENCOs).

Libby tubing

Earmould tubing that flares out (like a trumpet bell) towards the end of the meatal tip of the earmould. This type of tubing helps emphasise the high frequency sounds produced by the hearing aid. Extra skill and care is needed to retube an earmould fitted with libby tubing.

Local authority – England, Scotland and Wales

Local government (the council for the area) which administers services in the community, including education and support for children with special needs.

Local authority monitoring officer

Investigates any local authority decision or action that may be illegal. The officer is usually the authority's chief executive or a senior solicitor.

Loop system

Consists of a microphone, an amplifier and a loop of cable, which emits a magnetic field. If a person wears a hearing aid or cochlear implant switched to the ‘T’ position and is inside the loop, their hearing technology will pick up the sound coming through the microphone from the magnetic field. The sound is fed directly into their hearing aid or implant. Depending on how the hearing aid or implant has been set up, this may also cut out most background noise.

A loop can be worn on a receiver around a person’s neck, allowing them to listen to the sound, or it can be positioned around the whole room to allow everyone to access the loop. Loop systems are often available in public buildings like banks, churches and theatres. You can see whether one is available by looking for a blue square with a symbol of an ear and the letter ‘T’.

Local Offer – England

Local authorities must produce a Local Offer which gives information about services across education, health and social care in their area that could benefit children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).