7.7. Speech and Communication Aids
a. Artificial Larynxes. Artificial larynxes, regardless of type, will not be issued to an eligible veteran until it has been certified by a speech pathologist that speech without the use of a mechanical device is not feasible. NOTE: A limited stock of artificial larynxes for issuance may be kept on hand in the Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service or the Audiology and Speech Pathology Service.
b. Communication and Assistive Listening Devices and Assistive Devices
(1) Prescriptions and requests for special function and/or communication electronic devices will be developed by the audiologist or speech pathologist. The special needs of each patient will be documented to clearly establish that the special function device provides superior performance over any of the more common and conventional appliances.
(2) Telecaption television decoders and other assistive listening devices to overcome the handicap of deafness may be provided to veterans who are profoundly deaf and entitled to compensation on account of a hearing impairment. Veterans who are rated 80 percent or more service connected for a hearing impairment are generally considered profoundly deaf.
NOTE: This should not be confused with all assistive devices which are commonly used in auditory rehabilitation which take the place of, or are used in conjunction with, a hearing aid, e.g., telephone amplifiers, amplified headsets, etc., which may be provided to eligible veterans.