Deafness and Hearing Loss

Deaf or hearing impaired people have either complete or partial hearing loss. These people often require the use of hearing aids or sign language to hear and communicate. Hard of hearing people are those who suffer from a form of partial hearing loss usually caused by aging or trauma.

2,114 Questions
Sign Language
Deafness and Hearing Loss

How can a dumb man convey a message to a blind man?


Deafness and Hearing Loss

How many deaf children are homeschooled?

I don't believe that anyone knows how many children with hearing loss are being homeschooled. As far as I am aware, no study of homeschoolers has looked at this question.

I run an email list for parents homeschooling deaf and hard of hearing children, and I receive email from parents through my website, deafhomeschool . Based on those interactions, and the amount of information available on this topic, I estimate that there are fewer than 500 children with hearing loss being homeschooled in the United States.

The number of deaf children would obviously be even smaller than that.

That said, the number of families homeschooling deaf and hard of hearing children is definitely on the rise.

Black Eyed Peas
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Who is deaf in the black eyed peas group?


Child Health
American Sign Language
The Difference Between
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Is wanting a deaf baby if you are a deaf couple ethical or unethical and for what reasons?

Desire to Have a Deaf BabyCONSENSUS on this page seems to be:

1. Deaf parents wanting to adopt a deaf baby (one already born deaf) is ethical and probably advantageous, laudable.

2. Deaf parents wanting to create a deaf baby (removing its ability to hear through genetic manipulation or other means) is unethical, because it reduces choice and opportunity for the child.

* * *individual opinions * * *

Assuming you are talking about adopting a deaf child, I think that would be a wonderful thing for a deaf couple to do. So very many special needs children are in need of loving homes, yet get passed over for numerous reasons. A deaf couple who adopts a deaf child would be in an excellent position to love, raise and teach a deaf child because they have their own experiences to draw from.

On the other hand, if a you mean you want to have a biological child and hope your child is deaf? I think that is very selfish and you may be too immature at this point to be considering having a baby. While deafness is a disability many people not only live with but overcome it to live fulfilling lives - successful business people, celebrities, etc., why would you wish for your child to be anything less than perfectly healthy in every way like any normal prospective parent does? And if your child ''is'' born with perfect hearing, will you still be able to love him or her the way you should? Or will you feel disappointment?

I don't think ethics have anything to do with it. It's more a matter of maturity and selflessness. No matter whether you adopt or have biological children, no matter whether your child has disabilities of any kind or whether he is perfectly healthy, being a parent means you must very often be selfless and make sacrifices - and be mature enough accept this and to deal with what nature hands you.

I think you already know the answer to your question, don't you? In you heart you know you are not GOD. And don't forget all of those beautiful, and otherwise healthy deaf children who are just waiting for a loving family.

  • I think there is nothing wrong with it. If you feel that it is what you want to do, then it is ethical. Only you can determine the ethical value of the decision you decide to make. Do what you feel is right by you.
  • And how about the rights of the child ? If I grew up, and found out that my parents went out of their way to have a baby that was deaf, I would be angry at them. Deafness is a huge challenge to over-come, even when it happens naturally. If it was part of a parental plan, I'd feel ilke some kind of a freak, the result of some twisted idea of "equality".
  • What do a child's rights have to do with this? If a child is already deaf or is destined to be born deaf, rights or even fairness have little to do with it.

I don't think it is possible to deliberately choose to give birth to a deaf child. Unless I've missed something genetic researchers are trying to find a way to do away with birth defects, not create them.

What would be unethical, in my opinion, would be for a geneticist (if the technology were commonly available) to help create a child with a 'birth defect.' Then I would have to agree with the above argument.

Just imagine the sticky legal issues that would be involved if such things were possible: the child's rights, the parents' rights', womens' rights; ethics, religion,'s enough to make one's head spin.

I don't exactly think it's right for a couple to hope their baby is deaf, but since I am not deaf, I can't look at this from their point of view. Perhaps they feel unsure of their ability to raise a child who can hear? I still don't think that is a good reason, but I think I could, at least, understand it. I don't know that I would be up to properly raising and teaching a deaf child. Nevertheless, it would be MY child and I'd do anything and everything I could to the best of my ability to give that child a normal life.

As for adoption, every child deserves to have a loving family. If a couple, deaf or otherwise, chooses to adopt a child with a disability, then, more power to them, I say. Not everyone has the ability, strength, patience, or compassion to do this and I admire those who do.

  • There is nothing wrong with hoping for or wanting a Deaf child. Although I do agree with statements above about genetically manipulating your baby to be Deaf, I don't think that this would be right in any way, such as trying to give your child blue eyes or any other specific characteristic. I am Deaf myself, but was born hearing. I became Deaf at the age of 2 due to meningitis, so it is no more likely for me than for anyone else to have a Deaf child. I plan to adopt, because I want at least one Deaf child in the family. Wishes and hopes are not unethical.
  • I have a feeling the above answers have gone in a different direction than the questioner intended? Presumably, you're asking if it's okay to seek specifically to ADOPT a child who is deaf?

In answer to that, it's not only ok, it's wonderful! Any adopted child struggles with feeling a sense of differentness and "unbelonging" with regard to their adoptive family. Any way that the adoptive family can truly relate to and understand the child's needs is valuable. Adoption workers and agencies (especially those dealing with children with special needs) struggle to find families that are, for example, racially similar to the children they're trying to adopt. Naturally, many people (myself included) have adopted children of a different race than they are, but it is in many ways easier for the child to be adopted by a family of the same race as they are. I'm given to understand that the deaf community is strongly bonded as a "sub-culture," and I can only imagine how helpful it might be to a deaf child to be adopted by deaf parents.

Somewhere in my research, I think I've seen an organization specifically geared toward helping to place children with hearing loss ... but I can't remember where. Perhaps a web search of "deaf child adoption agency" might help?

  • I'm an interpreter married to a Deaf man who may or may not pass on his deafness. We have no intention of doing anything to intentionally create a Deaf baby, but we know the odds and it is entirely possible that we may do so and that's fine with us. We have as much of a right to have a child as anyone else and if this child is Deaf, we know what to do and will be thrilled to pass on the knowlege of ASL and Deaf Culture. It will more than likely be hearing, and that's great too.
  • If you want to adopt a deaf child, I think that's great. It's not unethical because a deaf couple has more knowledge and could better help a deaf baby.
  • The child will be well served with parents who are able to "speak" ASL and understand where they are coming from. You would be the perfect parents for a deaf child.
  • Deaf parents adopting deaf children sounds like a great idea, they'd likely be especially well-equipped for it.
  • As for deliberately choosing to create such a child (which is not only possible, but has now happened. Copy/paste this address for news story: )… Well, the clearest single-sentence definition of a good parent is one who wants her/his child to have a better life than he or she had. *Not* the same - *better*. This includes hoping her/his child will be born with more advantages and fewer weaknesses and vulnerabilities -of *any* kind- than he was. To wish anything less for your child -especially if you act on it- is child abuse. Its more subtle than a black eye - and much more damaging. The couple who deliberately caused their baby to be born deaf have committed a clearly unethical act and should be prosecuted for child abuse, and the child should be taken out of that home by Child Protective Services before any further harm comes to it, and placed with a loving family who would never knowingly bring harm to their child.

Well, this is just my personal opinion, no medical advice or psychological answers. I have never really been around many deaf people but I can understand both sides of it seeming like a good thing and a bad thing. It could be a good thing because both of you are deaf and might find it easier to communicate with your child and your child may be able to appreciate things that those who can hear may take for granted. But I am sure you and your spouse have had difficulties with being deaf and have at some point wanted to have the ability to hear and as a parent is your responsibility to want the best for your child. If you are wanting a deaf child so that he/she may be able to appreciate things in life that others take for granted it is not a bad reason in my opinion. But if you are wanting a deaf baby so that you can communicate better or so that your child does not have something from life that you and your spouse never had that can be seen as kind of a selfish reason in my opinion. I wish you the best of of luck with your baby.

In my opinion, yes. I find it very unethical to want a child with a disability. I understand your reasoning, and I am not condemning wanting a tie to your child. I understand that you want to be able to communicate with your child and have something in commong. However, my issue is why would you want your child to have a disability? Why would you want your child to go through so much more suffering? I am pretty sure that after a certain amount of time, your child will get used to it, and I understand that life is hard, but still. Is that what you want for them?

Conditions and Diseases
Head, Ears, and Nose
Deafness and Hearing Loss

How can hearing loss due to age be supported?

Half of all people over 50 or 60 will suffer some form of hearing loss.

There are many organisations which will help the aged through hearing loss.

First of all it's a good idea to see your doctor.

The doctor will take a look inside the patients ears to make sure there are no blockages preventing sound entering properly.

If a blockage is found, the doctor will prescribe or recommend a dosage of ear drops to dissolve the blockage.

If a blockage is not the case, the doctor should refer you to an audiologist, where a simple, painless hearing test will be performed.

Mostly these tests consist of sitting in an air-tight room with headphones. Random sounds will be sent through the headphones at various volumes by a computer, the patient has to press a button every time they hear a sound. This is a basic test to assess the level of hearing loss to determine what kind of treatment the patient needs.

Sometimes an x-ray of the ear bones may be necessary to determine if either of the three fragile bones (Incus, Malleus and Stapes bones) are damaged. A simple head injury can damage any of these three fragile bones in our ears.

Damaged ear bones are also the main cause of military veterans losing their hearing from undetected damage that may have occurred during military service.

The audiologist will examine the results of the test and, if necessary, the x-rays, which will help determine the best course of action.

Most of the time, the patient is given a hearing aid for one or both of the ears. A hearing aid works by a very tiny, complex computer which captures vibrations in the air, converts them into sound and sends the sound into the ear passage. Basically replacing the functions of the ear to provide a normal-level of hearing again.

There are many types of hearing aids available. The most common are the types which "hook" over the ear.

There are also "hidden" varieties which do not hook over the earlobe and there is an implant procedure available.

There are also other equipment available such as specialist phones, vibrating alarm clocks, flashing light attached to doorbells and so on. You can find more information about these in the related links below.

You may have noticed in some places like banks and cinemas, there is a poster of a yellow or blue ear with the letter "T" next to it.

The T stands for "Telecoil System". Basically, it allows hearing aid users to be able to hear the person talking or screen in front of them clearly despite background noise behind them.

In the rare case that the hearing cannot be recovered by using hearing aids, it's not the end of the world. Many deaf people with 100% loss use sign language to communicate.

Many of those also have a specially trained dog which helps them by informing their owners when someone is at the door and when a car is coming down a road. Usually these dogs are smaller breeds such as Spaniels, due to their brilliant hearing, but there are other breeds trained for this purpose, such as Labradors.

Many people with hearing difficulty also develop the ability to read lips and identify sounds by "feeling" a vibration. The fast rate of which deaf people adapt to their surroundings after losing their hearing astonishes and baffles scientists even today.

Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing impaired people are protected by law in many countries. They probably have the most protection in the United Kingdom, under three laws, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and Disability and the Equality Act 2010.

In summary, see a doctor. If you are referred to an audiologist, see them too. A simple 20 minute test will be performed to determine the level of hearing loss and therefore the level of support and equipment needed.

If you are a resident of the United Kingdom, hearing aids and hearing aid maintenance is free of charge on the National Health Service (NHS).

See the related links below for further information.

Founding Fathers
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Was the first deaf school a residential school?

It was Gallaudet and no it was not residential!

Consumer Electronics
Environmental Issues
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Can they make a hearing device or a new kind of ear or something that allows you to switch from being able to hear above or below whatever frequencies you can hear already?

I don't know the principle of operation, but years ago in "Popular Electronics" magazine, there was a construction article for a device that would allow you to hear super-sonic sounds like dog whistles, the sounds that insects make, etc. I think it mixed and shifted frequencies kinda like a super-heterodyne radio receiver does with RF. Like you, I'd like to have such a device. On the other hand, if a device picked up sub-sonic sounds, it would probably just pick up those "boom trucks" that all the young people drive, and in my opinion we can already hear those things from far enough away (about a mile).

Supporting ideaIndustry uses this equipment. A link is provided, but only as an example of the stuff being considered. No opinion, pro or con, is stated or implied. It's just a window to look through. Note: the stuff is kinda pricey for non-professional acquisition. Hit the www and see what else is out there.
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Can kids hear better than adults?

In some cases this is true, due to ageing an adults ears may be a little damaged while the child's ears are still growing and new. This case has been proven with the high pitched mobile ringtone that only children / teens can hear. good 4 class :P

Yeah, and I believe that a bunch of kids (I don't know what age...) were causing trouble at this store, so the clerk used the ringtone to drive the kids away.
yes, because due to how old people are their hearing might not be as same as children because they are much older and their ears have fully grown while children's are still new and growing

Dog Breeding and Mating
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Would a deaf dog have deaf puppies?

== == It depends on the chances.

If you have a deaf dog and another deaf dog mate; then they have a bigger chance at the puppies being deaf also.

If you have a deaf dog and a hearing dog; it's probably more going to be a 50/50. What ever one is dominate.

If you have a hearing dog and a hearing dog; the chance of having hearing puppies is going to be a bigger chance then having one with no hearing ------ This is a questions in regards to genetics. I don't really think this question can be answered as deafness being a physical trait like hair color or eye example is a human baby is not always born deaf because of the parents and deaf human babies can be born to 'normal' parents. Certain breeds have a higher chance of being deaf than others; however, deafness is a condition in which has no limit to dog breed. One should ask the question, "Why is this dog deaf?" One popular example is homozygous dogs (ie merle-to-merle in herding and other merle colored dogs). These should not be bred because the chance of a totally 'normal' litter is not high. Deafness is only one outcome to this genetics problem and other problems can rear their heads if litters are born, such as blindness due to abnormalities of the eyes, etc. Deaf dogs can be born by fluke, for lack of better words, to correct, normal parents,and to the most responsible breeders, but they still should not be bred. The only dogs that should be bred are those of healthy lineage and represent their breed to the fullest.

Head, Ears, and Nose
Child Health
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Can deaf people speak?

Yes but because they cannot hear themselves, to correct the mistakes they are making it comes across similar to that of someone with Downs Syndrome speaking to you. So they choose to Sign instead. yes some of us can speak but normally only if, like myself have been born hearing & gone deaf over time but some deaf people can't speak very well because we can't hear how things are pronounced, simple things like 'Beans' has the same lip pattern as 'peas' so unless you can hear it it just guess work.


The above answers is pretty good but in fact with massive advances in speech therapy over the past couple of decades some people who are born deaf can speak pretty well, though there is always a strange flat tone and they often have great difficult in modulating their volume. They may innadvertantley shout or may whisper out of fear of shouting or embarassment at their speech abilities. Children and younger people who have benefited from improved speech therapy generally have much clearer speech than older deaf people whose attempts at speech are likely to be unintelligible.
Yes, but if they have always been deaf they may not form sounds the same way the hearing population does so their speech will sound different and sometimes is difficult to distinguish some words.

Conditions and Diseases
Color Blindness
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Is being tone deaf considered a disablity?

I wouldn't think so. A tone deaf person would never find attractive any profession for which tone sensitivity is a requirement.

Languages and Cultures
Deafness and Hearing Loss

What languages are spoken by deaf people and mute people?

Whatever language they use in the country they are from.

Either through speech or sign language.
In America, they mostly use sign language
In America, deaf people use American Sign Language to communicate but there are several other sign languages that are used around the world

And you don't want to say deaf and dumb. Just say deaf because there is actually no correlation between being deaf and being dumb. There are some dumb deaf people just like there are some dumb hearing people. The term "deaf and dumb" started when people believed that deaf people were incapable of higher thought because they could not understand or express themselves.

But then in this case i guess the word dumb was meant to mean "mute" as in unable to speak and not "stupid"

Anyway, just say deaf because some deaf people do make sounds when they sign and some can even speak but not as clearly as a hearing person would.
Sign language, there are several versions, depending on where you live in the world.

Pregnancy Health and Safety (Prenatal Care)
Parenting and Children
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Will a child of a deaf mother be able to hear?

That is actually quite a complicated question to answer. I am assuming that your partner has the ability to hear? It just depends on the genes that are dominant when the sperm and egg merge. A friend of mine is deaf and her daughter has full hearing abilities. It is possible but if the gene that causes the mother to be deaf is dominant over the gene that allows a person to be able to hear then the child will be deaf. But if the gene that allows the child to hear is dominant over the gene that will cause the child to be deaf then the child will be able to hear. If the mother has a family history of children being deaf it is possible, the liklihood of being deaf increases greatly if the father is deaf as well. I am sure that you can talk to your doctor to get a more specific answer. Good luck.

It also depends on what caused the mother's deafness. Deafness is not always genetically related. Only 10% of deaf children are born to deaf adults.

Conditions and Diseases
US Marine Corps History and Traditions
The Difference Between
Deafness and Hearing Loss

What is the difference between mute and deaf-mute?

You can be Mute without being Deaf, people that don't have the ability to or don't want to talk would be mute. "Deaf-Mute" (and that isn't a widely used description anymore) would refer to a person who was Deaf and did not speak.

Head, Ears, and Nose
Deafness and Hearing Loss

How many deaf people in the world?

lol. Who knows!? I would have to say about 1,738.

^^ actually it's a much larger number than that. I just began taking a sign language class this year and in the U.S. alone there are 25 million people who have hearing loss or who are deaf.
Ludwig van Beethoven
George Frideric Handel
Deafness and Hearing Loss

What composer was deaf?

Beethoven may not be the only composer who was deaf but he was a composer and he did go deaf later in his life.

Ludwig van Beethoven, the German composer and pianist, was born in 1770. Somewhere around 1796, Beethoven began to lose his hearing, suffering from severe tinnitus (ringing in the ears) which made it difficult for him to hear the music. By 1814, he was almost completely deaf. There has been much speculation as to what caused his deafness, but the true reason remains unknown.

Beethoven continued to compose music, despite the fact that his hearing had deteriorated to the point that he used "conversation books". He became sick in December 1826, becoming mostly bedridden until his death on 26 March, 1827.

ADDITION: Other fairly composers have gone deaf, including William Boyce (prior to Beethoven) and Bedřich Smetana. Both of these continued to work after their hearing loss, as Beethoven.

ADDITION: Gabriel Urbain Fauré also went deaf towards the end of his life and continued to compose. Also the lesser known German composer Felix Draeseke.

ADDITION: A living composer who actually began her music career with profound deafness (from age 12) is Dame Evelyn Glennie, who has composed/performed some of the most fascinating percussion music I've ever heard.

Ludwig Van Beethoven

ADDITION: Bedrich Smetana has already lost much of his hearing when he composed the famous piece, "Die Moldau"

Sign Language
Society and Civilization
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Do deaf people sign numbers?

Yes. Numbers, like letters and words, are signed.
See the videos below as examples.

British Sign Language (BSL)

American Sign Language (ASL)

Jonas Brothers
Bill Clinton
Deafness and Hearing Loss

What brand of hearing aid does Bill Clinton wear?

He used to wear Starkey and Siemens.

Conditions and Diseases
Deafness and Hearing Loss

If you go deaf will you retain acoustic memery?

Memories, once formed, have nothing to do with the sense organs. So just as people who have gone blind continue to 'see' in their dreams and memores, people who have gone deaf can continue to 'hear' in their memories and dreams. It is not uncommon to forget a lot about hearing after you go deaf. The part of your brain that deals with hearing starts to atrophy from disuse after five years or so and many people report that their memories of hearing are less vivid.

Health TV Shows
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Can you become permanently deaf if you have an accident and something hits you on the head?

Yes you can and I would suggest seeing your doctor. Any hit to the head should be checked out by a doctor. Don't panic as you are probably OK, but to put your mind at rest at least go to a clinic and have your hearing tested. Good luck Marcy

History of the United States
Thomas Edison
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Was Thomas Edison ever deaf?

yes he did he was deaf but after sometime he did not care if he was deaf it was better for him to concentrate

Alexander Graham Bell
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Was Alexander graham bells mum deaf?

both his mother and wife were deaf

Deafness and Hearing Loss

How much does a Miracle-Ear hearing aid model ME 750 cost?

$3,995 a pair, currently. This is supposedly a limited deal ending tomorrow.

Jokes and Riddles
Speech Writing
Fetal Development
Deafness and Hearing Loss

Why shouldn't a deaf or disabled person get the deaf penalty?

Because they already suffered enough from your question.


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