I’ve never heard of an online audiologist! How does that work?
Audiology Outside the Box is a telepractice. This means that appointments happen online via video conferencing. You will need access to high speed internet and Zoom video conferencing software. To schedule an appointment, you need to submit an appointment interest form or call (202) 683-7620. Then, I will guide you through the rest of the process.
What is telepractice?
Telepractice is the use of technologies like videoconferencing to connect audiologists and speech-language pathologists with our clients and with each other. Services provided via telepractice are required to be of the same quality as services provided in person. You can read more about telepractice from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) here.
Do you see clients in person?
No. All Audiology Outside the Box appointments are online at this point in time.
What services do you provide?
Currently, I provide the services listed here. In the future, it is possible that my services might expand. Any new services will be announced on the Audiology Outside the Box website and social media accounts.
Do you work with children? Do you work with adults?
I work with clients across the lifespan from infants to older adults. No matter what your age is, I am happy to work with you.
I need proof of deafness/disability. Can you provide that?
Unfortunately, I cannot. For proof of deafness or disability related to hearing, you will need a hearing test. Currently, Audiology Outside the Box is not providing that service. I hope that this will change in the future. For now, you will need to visit another audiology practice for that service.
Can you program my hearing aids or cochlear implants?
At this time, I cannot provide hearing aid or cochlear implant programming during virtual appointments. It is possible that this may change in the future. Any new services will be announced on this website and on the Audiology Outside the Box social media accounts.
Do I need to live in a specific state to work with you?
Audiology Outside the Box is a telepractice, which means that all appointments are conducted virtually. Laws regulating telepractice specify that the audiologist must be licensed in the states where the client and audiologist are physically located at the time of service. Currently, I am licensed in Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington, DC. If you live in any of these places, I can work with you. If you live in another state or country and are interested in working with me, please contact me here. If there is sufficient interest within other states or countries, more may be added in the future.
I want to work with you. How can I schedule an appointment?
First, fill out the appointment interest form or call (202) 683-7620. I will reach out after you have submitted this. If the services that I offer are a good match for your needs, I will send you instructions for scheduling an appointment. You will need to fill out new client forms before the appointment. For some services, I will need a record of a recent hearing test. If this is the case, I will let you know. You can send me the record yourself or sign a release of information giving me permission to contact the audiologist who tested your or your child’s hearing.
I want to work with you, but I can’t afford services. Are there options for me?
Financial hardship should never be a barrier to receiving the services that you need for a great quality of life. I am working toward finding the best way to address this matter at Audiology Outside the Box. Once I can provide an answer to this question, it will be announced on this website and the associated social media accounts.
I don’t live in any of the states where you are licensed. Does Audiology Outside the Box have anything for me?
Check out the Resources and Blog sections of this website. The materials in these sections are available to anyone who wants to use them anywhere in the world. Audiology Outside the Box also offers virtual educational workshops that are available for people around the world. These are not clinical services as they do not involve individual or group treatment.
Questions about Language and Accessibility
What languages do you use during appointments?
I can communicate in American Sign Language (ASL) and/or English (spoken, written, sign-supported, and/or Pidgin Signed English) during your appointment. Currently, I do not have sufficient Cued Speech skills to conduct an entire appointment using this modality, but I am working toward that goal.
Although I can provide bilingual services, ASL is my second language. I recognize that deaf and hard of hearing people have different levels of ASL fluency and some communicate best in other sign languages or use sign systems based on spoken languages. Upon request, I can provide a free 15-minute video consultation for you to determine whether you and I are a good match as communication partners. If you would prefer an ASL interpreter or Cued Language Transliterator (CLT) instead of direct service in ASL, I can provide an interpreter or CLT for your appointment.
Upon request, I can also provide interpreters for spoken languages other than English. Interpreter and CLT requests must be made 3 weeks in advance of your appointment. You can tell me about your specific communication preferences when you fill out the appointment interest form and new client forms.
What are your beliefs about sign language?
American Sign Language, spoken English, and written English are all part of my daily communication. As you have probably guessed, ASL is an important part of my own life. ASL is important to many deaf and hard of hearing people. Unfortunately, families of deaf and hard of hearing children often encounter incorrect information about ASL. High-quality audiologic counseling and education is a core value of Audiology Outside the Box, so providing correct information about ASL and sign language in general is part of that. You might have heard that sign language is harmful, a manual form of English, not a real language, or not as good as spoken languages. None of those claims are true of natural sign languages like ASL. If you want to know more about the research that supports what I have just stated, read the articles cited in the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s (ASHA) position statement on ASL. This position statement affirms that natural sign and spoken languages are equivalent and that the critical period for acquiring language holds for both sign and spoken languages. For more information on this topic, read the National Association of the Deaf’s (NAD) position statement on ASL and Info to Go: American Sign Language (ASL) from Gallaudet University’s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center.
Why does Audiology Outside the Box have so many resources that either mention American Sign Language (ASL) or are presented in ASL?
Audiology Outside the Box offers resources related to ASL, spoken language, various communication modalities that are not languages, hearing technologies, audiology services, and more. Very few existing resources provide thorough information about ASL in the context of audiology services. Even fewer audiology-related resources are presented in ASL. My hope is that Audiology Outside the Box will fill some of these resource gaps. Regardless of language and communication preferences, deaf and hard of hearing people deserve full access to information about audiology services, hearing, tinnitus, balance, and related topics.
Do you work with people who communicate in spoken language?
Yes. No matter who you are or how you communicate, you are welcome at Audiology Outside the Box. If you communicate in spoken English, I will communicate with you in spoken English. If you communicate in another spoken language, see my answer to “What languages do you use during appointments?” for information about requesting an interpreter.
If I work with you, will you expect me to use sign language? Will you expect me to use spoken language?
The answer to both questions is no. Clients have freedom to communicate in the languages and modalities that feel best to them. This is a core value of Audiology Outside the Box. My only expectation is that you come just as you are! I will respect your preferred language(s) and modality(ies) whether signed, spoken, cued, written, or otherwise. If an additional language or modality beyond what you are already using might be beneficial, we can discuss that during the appointment. But decisions about your communication belong to you.
I am blind or have another disability. Is Audiology Outside the Box accessible for me?
Accessibility is a high priority at Audiology Outside the Box. If you have specific accessibility needs for a virtual appointment, please mention them when submitting the appointment interest form and new client forms. This website is designed to be fully accessible for screen readers. If you notice that part of the website is inaccessible either for you or for people with a different disability, please contact me so that the problem can be resolved as quickly as possible. Except for videos on this website that are meant to be American Sign Language (ASL) versions of written English text, all videos are posted with captions and screen reader-accessible transcripts. It is possible that some of the downloadable materials in the resources section are inaccessible for screen readers. If you download an infographic or other resource and find that it is inaccessible, please contact me and I will send you the content in a different format.
Questions about Word Choice at
Audiology Outside the Box
I’ve never known an audiologist to use the word “client” instead of “patient”. What’s that about?
Providing person-centered and family-centered care is a core value of Audiology Outside the Box. When you work with me, I am your teammate. I work with you, your family, professionals, and others who are part of your team to provide holistic care. You are more than a pair of ears! This is why I use the word “client” instead of “patient” most of the time. The word “client” implies working toward goals in partnership with the clinician. The word “patient” implies that curing sickness or disease is the clinician’s focus. I am not here to cure you; I am here to support you. My “Essential Tips for Audiologists” series in the Resources section does use the word “patient” because it is a familiar term within the audiology profession.
Why do you use the terms “hearing levels” and “reduced hearing sensitivity”? Isn’t “hearing loss” better?
All of these terms are used at Audiology Outside the Box depending upon the context. A person who was born deaf or hard of hearing did not “lose” their hearing; they began life with a different level of hearing sensitivity than the average person. Deaf or hard of hearing people might begin life as deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing and then lose more hearing sensitivity later. Each person’s circumstances are different. “Hearing level” applies to everyone. Because of this, most Audiology Outside the Box resources default to the term “hearing level”. Audiology Outside the Box also uses “reduced hearing sensitivity” when referring to the hearing levels of deaf and hard of hearing people (who may or may not have experienced “hearing loss”). Audiology Outside the Box uses the term “hearing loss” to describe the experience of losing hearing either temporarily or permanently.
Why do you use the term "deaf and hard of hearing people”? Isn’t person-first language (e.g. “people with hearing loss”) better?
When someone uses person-first language, they put the person before the disability or difference (e.g. “people with hearing loss” or “people who are deaf or hard of hearing”). Person-first language was once considered ideal for discussing disability and difference, and many people still use it. But historically, some communities have preferred identity-first language. When someone uses identity-first language, they acknowledge the important role of disability or difference in cultural and personal identity (e.g. “deaf and hard of hearing people”). Professional organizations are beginning to recognize the value of identity-first language for some communities. According to the most recent edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), both person-first and identity-first language are acceptable depending upon the circumstances.
There is no single preferred term for people who have reduced hearing sensitivity, but part of Audiology Outside the Box’s mission is to provide accessible and culturally sensitive services to deaf and hard of hearing people. That includes those who sign and identify with Deaf culture. Because of this, you will see identity-first language throughout the Audiology Outside the Box website, social media posts, resources, and blog entries. Respect for the cultures and identities of individual clients is a core value of Audiology Outside the Box, and during appointments I will use either person-first or identity-first language depending upon your preference. You can tell me about preferred words for describing your identity when you fill out the appointment interest form and new client forms. Whether you identify as Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, person with hearing loss, hearing impaired, something else, or no labels at all, you will be treated with kindness and respect.
Why do you use the term “deaf and hard of hearing”? Isn’t “Deaf” or “d/Deaf and hard of hearing” better?
Historically, the terms “deaf” and “hard of hearing” have been used to describe people with reduced hearing sensitivity who communicate in spoken languages. The term “Deaf” has been used to describe those who identify with Deaf culture and communicate in sign languages. But this oversimplifies a complicated issue. People cannot be placed into boxes so easily. For example, many people communicate in both spoken and sign languages. For some, reduced hearing sensitivity itself is an important part of self-identity. For others, it’s entirely about language and culture. And for others, it’s about all of the above. Preferred terms for describing identity may also combine two or more identities (e.g. DeafBlind) and may change over time.
Several terms have been used as all-inclusive by different organizations: “d/Deaf and hard of hearing”, “deaf”, “Deaf”, “deaf and hard of hearing”, and others. The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes uses “deaf” as an all-inclusive term for “people who may identify as deaf, deafblind, deafdisabled, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and hearing impaired.” The Deafhood Foundation uses “Deaf” as an all-inclusive term and does not support the use of “d/Deaf” because it creates artificial division. Recent research on this topic has suggested that especially among people who identify as “deaf” or “Deaf”, perspectives are mixed and there is no consensus about appropriate naming conventions.
Given the complexity of this issue, deciding which terms to use at Audiology Outside the Box was difficult. I made every effort to consider multiple perspectives on identity beyond my own. I read research and popular articles on the topic, watched vlogs, and consulted other people who identify as Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, person with hearing loss, or hearing impaired. After much reflection, I decided to use “deaf and hard of hearing” when referring to individuals or groups and “Deaf” when referring to Deaf culture itself. This is my attempt to be as inclusive as possible while respecting the complexity of identity development and avoiding artificial division. This convention is for the purpose of the website, social media accounts, and additional resources only. If I am working with you for clinical services, I will use your preferred terminology. You can tell me about preferred words for describing your identity in the appointment interest form and new client forms. Whether you identify as Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, person with hearing loss, hearing impaired, something else, or no labels at all, you will be treated with kindness and respect.