SAC Webcast: There’s Nothing Mild About Listening Effort for Children with Mild Hearing Loss (2021)

Erin Picou, AuD, PhD
SAC Event: 
CEE Credits: 
CEE Eligible: 
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This webcast is eligible for 1 SAC CEE.

Presented by Erin Picou, AuD, PhD

Intended audience: Audiologists, audiology assistant, students

This session pertains to: School Aged (5-17), Adult (18-64), Seniors (65+)

Level: Intermediate (Assumes that the participant has general familiarity with the literature and professional practice within the areas covered.)

School-aged children with mild hearing loss are at risk of experiencing increased listening effort, defined as the cognitive resources necessary for understanding speech. Classrooms can be particularly problematic for listening effort because they are often acoustically disadvantaged and they contain many factors known to increase listening effort. They’re noisy and reverberant, talkers are intermittently visible, listeners can be far away from a listener and talkers often speak in a low voice. Because these factors increase the cognitive resources necessary for recognizing speech, students listening in these conditions will have fewer cognitive resources available for other tasks, like comprehending, remembering and learning. Moreover, sustained increases in listening effort over time can result in mental fatigue, communicative withdrawal, declines in academic performance and ultimately decreased subjective well-being. Importantly, hearing loss, even mild hearing loss, can increase listening effort, exacerbating difficulties students could experience in the classroom. This webinar will review background on the topic of listening effort, methods for measuring effort and strategies for reducing listening effort, all with a focus on the listening needs of school-aged children with mild hearing loss.

Learning objectives

At the conclusion of this webinar, the participant will be able to:

1. Define listening effort and describe a common listening effort model
2. Describe three ways to reduce listening effort for school-aged children with mild hearing loss


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