Areas of Study


The B/BAR lab is directing a series of randomized controlled studies aimed at evaluating the effect of aural rehabilitation interventions on adult cochlear implant (CI) outcomes.

As part of these evidence-based studies, we are engaged in creating new CI assessment and outcome measures, auditory training software, and innovative rehabilitation training programs to improve communication and quality of life for adult and older adult cochlear implant users. The lab is part of the research team with the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology at Gallaudet.


Research Lab for Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences programs. The research lab has a double-walled sound treated audiometric test booth for evaluations. The Clinical Center has large acoustically treated observation/analysis rooms available for the provision of rehabilitative training.


Claire Marcus Bernstein (Gallaudet University) and Diane Brewer (Professor Emerita, George Washington University) are Co-PIs on the current project looking at optimizing outcomes speech recognition, cognition, quality of life, and neural responses for older adult cochlear implant users with auditory brain training.

Additional Investigators on this project include: David Thornton, Larry Medwetsky, and Kristen Thornton ( Gallaudet University), and Samira Anderson as Consultant (University of Maryland-College Park).

Multi-site aural rehabilitation intervention studies included the following investigators and clinical sites:

  • Matthew Bakke (Gallaudet University)
  • Paula Schauer (University of Maryland at College Park)
  • Anne Olson and Karah Gottschalk (University of Kentucky Health Sciences Center)
  • Cassandra Bosworth, Jaclyn Spitzer, and Elizabeth Machmer (Columbia University Medical Center)
  • Nancy Muscato and Kailey Introcaso (University of South Florida)
  • Gina Stillitano, Rachel Vovos, and Sarah Sydlowski (The Cleveland Clinic)



Services and Support
The data collected is used to keep track of client performance and progress by session. The software saves detailed data for ease of chart-making and discussing progress.
The primary data collected is the speech tracking rate (words per minute correctly repeated). Some research has shown that individuals with normal hearing can track speech at a rate of approximately 100 words per minute. It has been estimated that with a tracking rate of 50/60 wpm and with the use of speech-reading, individuals can follow conversational speech.
Adults with hearing aids and cochlear implants who struggle with understanding speech
The software is primarily used by audiologists and speech-language pathologists.
The ultimate goal is to help adults with hearing loss attain a tracking rate of at least 50 words per minute, which will improve their communication ability in daily life.
Common Questions
The listener is exposed to a variety of functional, everyday vocabulary in a structured task. The participant practices listening to sentence-length.
KTH speech tracking is a computer-based speech tracking procedure for auditory training. It allows clinicians to easily control the presentation of material and keep track of an individual’s mean tracking rate.
During speech tracking, the speaker reads a story one line at a time to the listener. The listener then repeats back what they heard verbatim. The task performance improves when the listener can follow the story and respond quickly.
Speech tracking is a listening practice technique that can be used for students that are deaf and hard of hearing. It consists of:
  • Structured, conversation-like tasks that combine sentence identification and auditory comprehension
  • Give-and-take elements of naturally occurring conversations
You can download the software here.
Opportunities Questions
  • Time can be adjusted to client needs. Traditionally, we have used 5-minute segments for a total of 25 minutes per session.
  • Materials can be customized. You can input any materials into the software, including copyright books and material, newspaper stories, magazine stories, and more. For directions, please see the Writing New Text for KTH.

Contact Us

Bernstein/Brewer Aural Rehabilitation Lab (B/Bar Lab)

Claire Bernstein


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