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Aphasia - Total or partial loss of the ability to use or understand language—usually caused by stroke, brain disease, or injury.

Aphonia - Complete loss of voice.

Apraxia - Inability to execute a voluntary movement despite being able to demonstrate normal muscle function.

Articulation Disorder - Inability to correctly produce speech sounds (phonemes) because of imprecise placement, timing, pressure, speed, or flow of movement of the lips, tongue, or throat

Assistive Devices - Tools and devices such as alphabet boards, text telephones, or text-to-speech conversion software used to help people with communication disorders perform actions, tasks, and activities

Augmentative Devices - Tools that help individuals with limited or absent speech to communicate. These include communication boards, pictographs (symbols that look like the things they represent), or ideographs (symbols representing ideas).

Aural Rehabilitation - Techniques used with people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing to improve their ability to speak and communicate

Autism - A brain disorder that begins in early childhood and persists throughout adulthood; affects three crucial areas of development: communication, social interaction, and creative or imaginative play

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Cognition - Thinking skills that include perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect, and imagination

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Dysarthria - Group of speech disorders caused by disturbances in the strength or coordination of the muscles of the speech mechanism as a result of damage to the brain, nerves, or muscles.

Dysfluency - Disruption in the smooth flow or expression of speech

Dyslexia - Learning disability characterized by reading difficulties. Some individuals may also have difficulty writing, spelling, or working with numbers.

Dysphagia - Difficulty swallowing.

Dysphonia - Any impairment of the voice or speaking ability

Dyspraxia of Speech - Partial loss of the ability to consistently pronounce words in individuals with normal muscle tone and coordination of the speech muscles.

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Hoarseness - Abnormally rough or harsh-sounding voice caused by vocal abuse and other disorders

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Language - System for communicating ideas and feelings using sounds, gestures, signs, or marks

Language Disorders - Any of a number of problems with verbal communication and the ability to use or understand a symbol system for communication

Laryngeal Nodules - Non-cancerous, callous-like growths on the inner parts of the vocal folds (vocal cords); usually caused by vocal abuse or misuse

Laryngeal Paralysis - Loss of function or feeling of one or both of the vocal folds caused by injury or disease to the nerves of the larynx.

Laryngectomy - Surgery to remove part or all of the larynx (voice box)

Laryngitis - Hoarse voice or the complete loss of the voice because of irritation to the vocal folds (vocal cords)

Larynx - Valve structure between the trachea (windpipe) and the pharynx (the upper throat) that is the primary organ of voice production

Learning Disability - Childhood disorders characterized by difficulty with certain skills such as reading or writing in individuals with normal intelligence

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Misarticulation - Inaccurately produced speech sound (phoneme) or sounds

Motor Speech Disorders - Group of disorders caused by the inability to accurately produce speech sounds (phonemes)

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Neurogenic Communication Disorder - Inability to exchange information with others because of hearing, speech, and/or language problems caused by impairment of the nervous system (brain or nerves)

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Open-Set Speech Recognition - Understanding speech without visual clues (speech reading)

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Phonology - Study of speech sounds

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Reading Disorders - Any of a group of problems characterized by difficulty using or understanding the symbol system for written language

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Sign Language - Method of communication for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in which hand movements, gestures, and facial expressions convey grammatical structure and meaning

Sound Vocalization - Ability to produce voice

Speech - Making definite vocal sounds that form words to express thoughts and ideas

Speech Disorder - Any defect or abnormality that prevents an individual from communicating by means of spoken words. Speech disorders may develop from nerve injury to the brain, muscular paralysis, structural defects, hysteria, or mental retardation.

Speech-Language Pathologist - Health professional trained to evaluate and treat people who have voice, speech, language, or swallowing disorders, including Deaf or Hard of Hearing, that affect their ability to communicate

Stroke - Also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA); caused by a lack of blood to the brain, resulting in the sudden loss of speech, language, or the ability to move a body part, and, if severe enough, death

Stuttering - Frequent repetition of words or parts of words that disrupts the smooth flow of speech.

Swallowing Disorders - Any of a group of problems that interferes with the transfer of food from the mouth to the stomach

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

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.

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

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Vocal Cord Paralysis - Inability of one or both vocal folds (vocal cords) to move because of damage to the brain or nerves

Vocal Cords (Vocal Folds) - muscularized folds of mucous membrane that extend from the larynx (voice box) wall. The folds are enclosed in elastic vocal ligament and muscle that control the tension and rate of vibration of the cords as air passes through them.

Vocal Folds - See Vocal Cords above.

Voice - Sound produced by air passing out through the larynx and upper respiratory tract

Voice Disorders - Group of problems involving abnormal pitch, loudness, or quality of the sound produced by the larynx (voice box)

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