Glossary Terms: T

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Tactile
Related to touch or the sense of touch.

Tactile Devices
Mechanical instruments that make use of touch to help individuals who have certain disabilities, such as deaf-blindness, to communicate.

Taste - sensation produced by a stimulus applied to the gustatory nerve endings in the tongue. The four tastes are salt, sour, sweet, and bitter. Some scientists indicate the existence of a fifth taste, described as savory.

Taste Buds
Groups of cells located on the tongue that enable one to recognize different tastes.

Taste Disorder
Inability to perceive different flavors. Taste disorders may result from poor oral hygiene, gum disease, hepatitis, or medicines and chemotherapeutic drugs. Taste disorders may also be neurological.

Teacher
Term used broadly to include teachers trained to work with deaf and hard-of-hearing children, teachers in ordinary (mainstreamed) classrooms, or a resource teacher who may work with children who have special needs.

Throat Disorders
Disorders or diseases of the larynx (voice box), pharynx, or esophagus.

Thyroplasty
Surgical technique to improve voice by altering the cartilages of the larynx, which houses the vocal folds (vocal cords), in order to change the position or length of the vocal folds. Also known as laryngeal framework surgery.

Tinnitus
Sensation of a ringing, roaring, or buzzing sound in the ears or head. It is often associated with many forms of hearing impairment and noise exposure.

Tongue
Large muscle on the floor of the mouth that manipulates food for chewing and swallowing. It is the main organ of taste, and assists in forming speech sounds.

Total Communication
TC describes a range of educational environments and communication interventions teach a child, which could include American Sign Language (ASL), Signed Exact English (SEE), fingerspelling, Cued Speech, speechreading, speaking, listening, and/or any other method that may facilitate language development.

Touch
Tactile sense; the sense by which contact with the skin or mucous membrane is experienced.

Tourette Syndrome
Neurological disorder characterized by recurring movements and sounds (called tics).

Tracheostomy
Surgical opening into the trachea (windpipe) to help someone breathe who has an obstruction or swelling in the larynx (voice box) or upper throat or who has had the larynx surgically removed.

TTY
A teletypewriter, also known as a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), is an electronic keyboard which connects to phone line to enable typed communication between TTY users.

Tympanoplasty
Surgical repair of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) or bones of the middle ear.