Understanding Hearing Loss


Approximately 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. More than 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing. The Hearing Loss Association of America provides statistics and fact on hearing loss.

Hearing loss can happen when any part of the ear is not working in a manner that mirrors the hearing world’s hearing development. This includes the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, hearing nerve, and auditory system. When hearing loss occurs, the brain adjusts in miraculous ways and individuals develop visual, social, and amplification strategies that become part of who they are.

diagram of an ear

Those with hearing loss have a unique way of experience the world. Gaining an understanding of this unique viewpoint, and of the strategies that allow those with hearing loss to live their best lives is essential. Parents, teachers, and professionals become teammates for individuals with hearing loss, advocating, supporting, coaching, and teaching - to help those with hearing loss become their best self.


Hearing Loss Simulation

Starkey Hearing Technologies provides a way for those with normal hearing to gain further understanding of different level of hearing loss through their hearing loss simulator. It allows the user to hear what different levels of hearing loss sound like. Gaining a better understanding of hearing loss will help team members identify strategies that fit the unique strengths and challenges each individual, deepening their relationships, and supporting their best life.


Interested in more information?

Pepnet 2 (pn2) is a federally funded project whose mission is to increase the education, career, and lifetime choices available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. They provide online learning courses. One course Access: The Fundamentals, is a straightforward and informative introduction to the nature of hearing loss and its implications for communication and learning in educational settings. The course also provides basic information about accommodations that can make education, employment, and other activities accessible for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Hearing Loss in Children provides information for parents and professionals including basic information, screening and assessment, and intervention.