Alexander Thal B. Sc., Bad Grönenbach
“VAST: A video-assisted speech test”
Many deaf persons as well as hearing aid users profit by visual information from the speaker’s mouth in order to discriminate speech. Therefore, a video with a real speaker was developed for the Freiburg speech test while the applicable norms were taken into account.
In comparative discrimination tests with and without video assistance, all participants (16 with hearing loss, 6 normal hearing listeners) were able to improve speech intelligibility owing to the additional video.
Significant improvements were observed in hearing impaired subjects (without hearing aid) in low (50 dB) and medium (65 dB) noise levels. Measurements with the hearing aid in place led to significant improvements in low noise levels only. Normal hearing participants experienced significant improvement only in very low noise levels (35 dB). On the whole, deaf persons benefited more from the video presented than normal hearing listeners.
Both measurements and the subjects’ subjective evaluations suggest benefits from additional video presentation. Thus, an almost realistic everyday situation can be achieved by using a video-assisted test. Moreover, the video prevents the customer from being surprised by unexpected word presentation.