Research & Scholarly Achievement
at Gallaudet University

Project R1: Enhanced aural rehabilitation for cochlear implant users via telerehab technology

ID: 2642
Status: Ongoing
Start date: October 2014
End Date: September 2019


The project aims to improve performance of cochlear implant (CI) users with enhanced aural rehabilitation (AR) strategies via telehealth technology, maximizing both access to auditory information and functional outcomes for individuals with hearing loss. Using a randomized controlled trial of AR via telerehab we will be able to demonstrate greater performance and usability of technology, and at the same time yield significantly greater accessibility to this effective intervention. Although there is great potential in AR services for CI users, there are both financial and non-financial barriers to AR service delivery. In surveys of U.S. adults, 21% reported nonfinancial barriers including accessibility (mobility, distance, and transportation problems), accommodation (too busy with work or caring for family), and availability. Those from rural areas report limited qualified providers, financial constraints, and reduced transportation access. As the population ages, which comprises a sizable portion of adults receiving CIs, mobility issues contribute a noteworthy barrier to AR access.Telehealth technologies are commonly regarded as promising options to improve access to health services. The previous RERC on Hearing Enhancement developed a state-of-the art rehabilitation program conducted in clinical settings. Adapting this successful rehabilitation protocol for telerehab has the potential of greatly extending access to much needed rehabilitative services. It also lets consumers take advantage of the increasingly interconnected world in which they live.

Principal investigators

Additional investigators

Priorities addressed

Funding sources



Snyder, A., Bakke, M., & Bernstein, C. (2017). Inter­rater reliability of the Cochlear Implant Skills Review (CISR). Presentation at the American Auditory Society. Scottsdale, AZ.

Vogler, C., & Kozma-Spytek, L. (2017). Comments of the DHH-RERC on the FCC Public Notice on Actions to Accelerate Adoption and Accessibility of Broadband-Enabled Health Care Solutions and Advanced Technologies. Washington DC: FCC, GN Docket 16-46, May 24, 2017.


Bernstein, C., & Brewer, D. (2018, January). Optimizing cochlear implant outcomes with short term aural rehabilitation: RCT. Paper presented at the Mid Atlantic Cochlear Implant Conference, College Park, MD.

Brewer, D., Bernstein, C., Bosworth,C., Gottschalk, K., Olson, A., Seward, K., Stillitano, G., & Sydlowski, S. (2018, March). Development of Telehealth AR Training Protocol for adult CI users. Poster presentation at the American Cochlear Implant Alliance Conference. Washington, DC.

Brewer, D., Bernstein, C., Woodruff, T., Olson, A., Bosworth, C., Sydlowski, S., & Seward, K. (2017, December). Development of Telehealth AR Training Protocol/Program for adult CI users. Paper presented at the Ninth International Adult AR Conference. St. Pete Beach, FL.

Valid HTML 5 Valid CSS 3 WAVE (WebAIM) Approved