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IRC Blog

IRC Blog
Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2015
By: IRC Blog

Say what? Take an easy online hearing test

blog-hearing.jpgDo you suspect that you might have lost some of your hearing in recent years?

People who have mild difficulty in hearing often don’t seek help from a doctor or audiologist because they don’t think it’s serious enough. In fact, faculty members at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Institute for the Deaf say it usually takes seven years or more for people to visit a doctor about hearing impairment.

The professors developed an online tool that can help you determine whether you could benefit from consulting a doctor about hearing.

The test is free, and you don't have to give your name. You do need to provide an email address and password to create a login so you can return to the test later and compare results.

To take the test, you just click on the Start button, log in and view sentences that appear on the screen. A voice speaks each sentence. In come cases, the audio matches the sentence. In others, the audio may be slightly different than what appears in the text. It’s your job to determine whether the audio matches the text.

The differences often are subtle. Here’s a sample practice question from the test: The onscreen sentence reads “Did you notice the car on Main Street?” The spoken audio says, “Did you notice the tar on Main Street?”

Drs. Joseph Bochner and Wayne Garrison developed the tool, which can be found here.

“The test provides useful information and is recommended for anyone who is suspected of having a hearing loss,” Dr. Bochner said. The professors, who specialize in cultural and creative studies and access technology, spent several years making sure that the test provides accurate results.

They hope that because the test is free, easy to access and anonymous, people will be encouraged to take it. Those who score low are encouraged to visit a hearing professional for further testing to see if they could benefit from audiological services.



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