7 Ways the Media Gets Hearing Loss Wrong


There are major problems with how the media portrays hearing loss. As a person with hearing loss, here are the issues I want to address, in numerical order.

1. We don’t all sign. Yup. I just began learning ASL (American Sign Language), and sign language varies by country. So you have to learn a country’s version of sign language, just like spoken language.

2. Lip reading is really hard. Especially if multiple people are speaking all at once. You can lose a lot of information if everyone is talking over each other.

3. Hearing loss varies from person to person. It can vary from mild to moderate to severe to profound.

4. Most modern hearing aids don’t squeal or whistle. In fact, a lot of hearing aids (they tend to be on the expensive side, though) can connect to your phone via BlueTooth and you can adjust the settings. Hearing aids are so advanced nowadays.

5. Young people have hearing loss, too! It’s not just a grumpy old man with a hearing aid. Which leads me to number 6…

6. About 20 percent of Americans are reported to have hearing loss. That is 65,280,409 Americans!

7. Please face us and don’t yell when you are talking to us.

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Getty image by Robert Przybysz.


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