The Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (DHH-RERC) supports three research projects and three development projects:
The DHH-RERC’s research projects contribute to advancing knowledge about how people who are deaf or hard of hearing can benefit from new technologies:
- Enhanced Aural Rehabilitation for Adult Cochlear Implant Users via Telerehab Technology (Project R1) is assessing the effectiveness of short-term rehabilitation programs and telerehab settings to determine whether they can improve speech understanding and communication in daily life. Telerehab offers consumers who may not otherwise have access to rehabilitation providers and programs.
- User-Driven Customization of Cochlear Implant Programming (Project R2) is researching options for a consumer-driven user interface for assisting the programming process, which would offer CI users control over their device programming.
- Validation of Hearing Aid Fitting for Infants and Toddlers (Project R3): is studying the relationship between physiological and behavioral measures of speech sound discrimination to develop a set of tools that will help clinicians improve the assessment and intervention of hearing aid fitting in infants and toddlers. Through the early use of hearing aids, parents can clinicians can reduce speech and language delays in infants and toddlers.
The DHH-RERC’s development projects contribute to developing best practices, testing new technologies, and bringing them to market:
- Development of a Consumer Model for a Technology-Focused Train-the-Trainer Program (Project D1), the Network of Consumer Hearing Assistive Technology Trainers (N-CHATT) is building build a network of consumer trainers with the knowledge and skills necessary to train others impacted by hearing loss in the successful integration of hearing assistive technology. In addition to empowering consumers, this effort will result in a train-the-trainer model that may be replicable by other groups who use assistive technology.
- Context-Sensitive Assessment of Real-World Listening Situations via Integrated Smartphones and Hearing Aids (Project D2) aims to develop a new assessment system to understand what problems and factors prevent or reduce the use of hearing aids, based on integrating hearing aids with smartphones. Researchers and audiologists will be able to use this information to develop better hearing technologies, and to fine tune the hearing aids
- Interactive Learning Environment for Optimizing Technology Use (Project D3) aims to develop a prototype for realistic simulation of real-world listening situations. The results may open up new avenues for rehabilitation that neither auditory training nor informational counseling provide.