All professional services are provided by or directly supervised by clinical faculty who hold at least a master's degree and the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The Eleanor M. Luse Center also serves as the primary training center for graduate students in the UVM Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Services at the Eleanor M. Luse Center are available to all people, regardless of race, creed, sex or national origin. For more information about speech, language and hearing services, email Luse.Center@uvm.edu or call (802) 656-3861. University of Vermont Notice of Privacy Practices
The Eleanor M. Luse Center offers a full range of behavioral and objective hearing tests for children and adults. These tests describe the individual's hearing ability and how reduced hearing may be affecting functional communication. When testing is complete, results are discussed with the individual and family and recommendations are made as are appropriate, including a plan for next steps. Reports are sent to the individual tested and other appropriate recipients (e.g., referring physician). A significant amount of time at the end of each appointment is spent counseling the individual/family to ensure they understand the test results and recommendations. We feel that the additional time we are able to spend with individuals and families results in a more successful final outcome for the individual with hearing loss.
Auditory Processing Disorder Screenings
We are no longer providing services to screen or diagnose Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). Below is contact information for three diagnostic centers that provide these APD services:
Speech & Hearing Center
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Center for Language, Speech, and Hearing
University of Connecticut - Storrs
Speech, Language, Hearing Center
Hearing Aid Evaluation and Selection
Consultation for children and adults is available to determine candidacy for hearing aids. Specific makes and models are recommended based on test results and assessment of patient communication needs. We go beyond the typical use of the hearing test alone to make our recommendation(s). It's our philosophy that a good understanding of the individual's hearing loss and his or her listening needs and lifestyle are an important part of all assessments. We gather this information through an informal assessment during the consultation. This includes a thorough review of patient communication status, psychological/social/vocational and education variables, related personal factors, and environmental factors. Hearing aids may be purchased through the Eleanor M. Luse Center for Communication; however, if you meet eligibility requirements for state financial assistance, contacts to follow up on this assistance will be provided. After you are fitted with hearing aids, you have a 45 day trial period (as required by state law) to determine if the hearing aids meet your needs/expectations. During that trial period, you will have several follow-up appointments with your audiologist to verify and validate an appropriate evidence based fitting. Adjustments to hearing aid use are included as part of our regular follow-up.
Hearing Support for Adults
Adjustment to hearing loss can be difficult, particularly after a hearing aid fitting when the world seems so loud and new. Being fitted with hearing aids does not make one's hearing 'normal' again but rather provides auditory access to speech sounds previously not heard. Because the brain needs time to re-learn how to hear sounds again, you should expect a period of time (potentially several weeks) to adjust to the amplification. This adjustment can be supported via the assistance of our clinical team and our services which include training in the use of hearing aids and ways to communicate more effectively with others. Contact one of our audiologists or audiology assistants for more details.
Objective Assessment (verification) and Subjective Assessment (validation) of Hearing Aid Fittings
Verification and validation are important components of assessing the appropriateness of your new hearing aid fitting. Our clinical setting has the equipment and tools to objectively and subjectively program your newly fitted hearing aids to the levels recommended by established research in the field, while also meeting your pre-determined listening needs.
Objective assessment of a hearing aid fitting is done via real ear measures and also by evaluation of the hearing aids in our sound treated audiometric booths. Probe microphone measures allow us to fully customize the amplification your hearing aids by taking into consideration both your hearing levels and the acoustics of your individual ear canal shape and size. Sound field measures include tests of speech understanding comparing your ability to perceive speech at a conversational level with and without the hearing aids. This test in both quiet and noise conditions provides a measure of functional ability. Improvement scores will be shared with you as part of the follow up process.
Subjective assessment (or measures of how much benefit you perceive from the amplification) is another critical component to a successful hearing aid fitting. In our clinic, we typically use the Client Oriented Scale of Improvement (COSI) scale which assesses how well the fitting has met your previously described listening needs and goals. We also may use the Satisfaction with Daily Amplification in Daily Life (SADL) scale which compares your satisfaction to that of other users of hearing aids. Both of the previously described scales are reliable and valid measures of perceived benefit, supported by research. Inclusion of such scales to assess treatment effectiveness in a hearing aid fitting is now considered the 'gold-standard' of care.
Just as the verification tests we conduct provide objective data, the subjective assessment tools we utilize provide important measures and data on your perception of the hearing aid specific to your needs. Collection of this outcome data provides a comprehensive assessment of the success of the hearing aid fitting before the trial period ends so you can make an educated decision on whether the hearing aids were the right choice for you. Research has demonstrated that these specific objective and subjective methods of evaluating hearing aid function are effective and an important component to a 'best practice' fitting. These methods are used routinely by our audiologists ensuring you receive the best hearing health care.
A successful hearing aid fitting with a high level of perceived benefit is our primary goal and we believe our fitting philosophy lends itself to that end. If we don't feel you have the best fitting you could have before your 45 day trial period ends, we will tell you and provide you with alternative options to consider.
Assistive Listening and Alerting Devices
Hearing aids sometimes cannot fully meet your listening needs across all listening environments. Our clinic can provide you with additional information on Bluetooth wireless systems to be used in conjunction with your personal amplification, frequency modulated (FM) systems, and/or induction loop systems. Additional assistive listening device options, such as infrared systems which may or may not be used with hearing aids, can also be discussed. Don't know what these devices are? Contact our center for more information and details to see what might be most helpful to you. Also, information regarding other listening and alerting systems is available on request and/or need.
Speech and Language Services
Speech and language services at the Eleanor M. Luse Center include diagnostic evaluations of speech and language, and treatment services for children and adults for speech, language, fluency, voice, social language and executive function and cognition. Consultations are offered for:
- Public and private schools
- Family and infant toddler programs (FITP)
- Programs in early essential education (EEE)
Faculty participate on the following teams:
- Interdisciplinary Leadership for Health Professionals
- Cleft Palate/Craniofacial Team
- Voice Center of Vermont
Services are provided to individuals with delayed or disordered articulation and phonological impairments, motor speech disorders (apraxia and dysarthria), and tongue thrust.
Services are also provided for foreign accent modification to individuals for whom English is a second language and who still encounter difficulty being understood due to inaccurate pronunciation, including intonation.
Child Language: Evaluation, consultation and programming are available to aid development of language understanding, language use, speech production, and pre-academic skills.
School Age Language: Evaluation, consultation and programming are available to aid in language based academic skills for individuals with language learning disabilities in elementary school, secondary school and post secondary education.
Adult Language and Cognition: Our individualized treatment programs for adults address communication needs related to work, home or social settings. Treatment goals and activities can address recovery following a stroke, head injury or other neurological/neurodegenerative conditions, such as Parkinson's disease and Multiple Sclerosis; or secondary neurocognitive effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
Weekly Post-stroke Communication Group meetings provide opportunities for ongoing communication recovery in a small group environment at the center and in the community. Other communication difficulties associated with reduced hearing sensitivity, memory difficulties or reduced clarity of speech may warrant consultation when they are of concern to an individual or their family. Contact Mary Alice Favro or call (802) 656-1915 for more information.
Individual sessions provide assessment and treatment of stuttering of children and adults. The Lidcombe Program is offered through this center for families with children under the age of six years. A free weekly evening support group provides opportunities for adults and adolescents to use techniques learned in therapy and maximizes carryover of smooth speech to everyday situations.
Our Voice Therapy Program for adults and children emphasizes achievement of the best voice possible, healthy vocal hygiene, and prevention of voice disorders. This program is geared for individuals who have difficulty in production of adequate loudness, pitch, quality, projection, or who experience vocal fatigue. Therapy may be recommended for conditions such as vocal nodules/polyps, muscle tension dysphonia, vocal cord dysfunction (VCD), paralyzed vocal folds, and in collaboration with medical management. LSVT (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) is offered. We provide service for people who are transgendered and interested in working on new aspects of voice and resonance.
Executive Function and Cognition
Evaluation and therapy is offered which addresses higher level language and executive function, such as attention, processing speed, and working memory. Treatment goals and activities can incorporate skills needed for independent functioning at work, in the community and at home. Individuals who have experienced brain injury can benefit from continued attention to cognitive rehabilitation as they return to community, school, and work settings.