What are special senses & speech disorders?
Special senses & speech disorders affects a person’s vision, hearing, or speech.
What are visual disorders and how are they evaluated by the Social Security Administration (SSA)?
The Social Security Administration recognizes the loss of visual acuity or a decrease of visual fields which may be caused by abnormalities of the eye, the optic tracts and nerve, or the brain.
The SSA may evaluate your visual disorder with an eye examination which documents your best corrected visual acuity or visual field. The cause of the loss should also be established through medical documentation.
A routine or standard eye examination can usually show the reason for any visual acuity loss and sometimes also show causes for visual field loss. If the aforementioned does not suffice in revealing the cause or causes, it is possible the SSA may require other documentation that helps better prove the visual impairment.
How are hearing impairments evaluated by the SSA?
The SSA evaluates a claimant’s hearing by the person’s ability distinguish speech and the ability to hear. Hearing loss can be measured by an audiometer. This device must meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Speech discrimination should be measured by using the qualifying test that meet the SSA’s requirements. Test results along with the speech test used must be reported to the SSA.
An ocotlaryngologic exam should be conducted by a qualified audiologist or otolaryngologist prior to having a hearing test.
How are speech impairments evaluated by the SSA?
Although it is difficult to be found disabled based solely on a speech impairment, it’s not impossible The SSA will evaluate your speech impairments based on your ability to communication. Consideration is given to the person’s ability to have recognizable speech by using an electronic device or mechanical device that may improve voice articulation.
What are some categories of Special Senses & Speech Disorders?
The following categories of special senses & speech disorders are described more in depth on the SSA’s website:
- Loss of visual acuity
- Contraction of the visual fields in the better eye
- Loss of visual efficiency
- Disturbance of labyrinthine-vestibular function
- Hearing impairments
- Loss of speech
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