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Glossary: T

Teacher of the Deaf (ToD)

A teacher who has an extra qualification to work with deaf children and young people. Their role is to make sure deaf children and young people can access and make good progress in their education and development. They provide support to deaf children and young people, their parents and family, and to other professionals who are involved with a child’s education.


Technology in hearing aids and cochlear implants which pick up signals transmitted by loop systems. The telecoil can be activated by turning the hearing technology to the 'T' programme. You may need to ask your audiologist to activate this option.

Textphone (also known as a minicom)

A type of landline telephone with a small keyboard attached which transmits text through the telephone line. Someone using a textphone can communicate directly with other textphone users or with a voice telephone user via a text relay service. Textphones are relatively outdated now as most people use mobile phones or Relay UK (an online text relay service) instead.

Text relay

A three-way call involving a deaf person, a hearing person and an operator. The operator can voice what the deaf person types to the hearing person, and type what the hearing person replies to the deaf person.


A tool for fitting new tubing to an earmould.


A general term that means any sound heard in the ears or head that hasn’t come from an external source. Common tinnitus sounds include ringing or buzzing noises.

Tone hook

Sometimes called elbow or horn. The curved plastic tube that connects the hearing aid to the earmould tubing.

Total Communication

A communication approach whereby a child uses a combination of methods flexibly in whatever combination works best for them. This could include sign language, spoken language, fingerspelling, gesture, facial expression, lip-reading and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices, such as word boards. It's based on the principle that deaf children can learn to communicate effectively by using any and all means that they can. 


A device that changes sounds into electric signals or electrical signals into vibrations.


Used to describe periods of time when a child is moving from one situation to another, such as transitioning between primary and secondary education or between children's and adult’s audiology services.

Transition plan

Contains information about the arrangements for a deaf child or young person who is starting nursery, moving from nursery to primary school, from primary school to secondary school, or from secondary school to further education.

Tribunal - England

An independent body which considers appeals by parents (or young people aged 16 or over) against local authority decisions on Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs assessments and EHC plans. The Tribunal also hears claims of disability discrimination. Its full title is First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability).


The flexible tube that connects the earmould with the hearing aid, via the tone hook or elbow.


A test to check how well the moving parts of the middle ear are working. If the eardrum is not moving freely, there’s likely to be some fluid or another problem with the middle ear. Tympanometry is often done at the same time as a hearing test.

Typical hearing levels

When the quietest sounds a child can hear are recorded on the audiogram between 0 and 20 decibels (dB), a child is considered to have typical hearing levels.