Challenges That Are Still Seen In The Deaf Community

The lives of the deaf and hard of hearing have tremendously changed in the past decades. Modern technologies have emerged, and new policies have included solutions to further decrease the stress and difficulties of deaf persons around the world. However, there are still some obstacles that have remained.

Internet And Other Devices


The birth of the Internet, tablets, and smartphones has transformed the way people with hearing loss communicate. Speaking and hearing are not always a requirement anymore, particularly in daily activities like ordering food or complaining of a bill. Skype. Face Time, Zoom, and other videoconferencing applications have made it easier for them to understand and learn sign language through remote interpreters and teachers. Still, some challenges continue to persist, such as the need for interpreters for deaf people who don’t have access to the Internet.

Education And Employment

Unlike in the past decades, the deaf community is no longer limited to working in factories and other companies offering hard labor. Unfortunately, although the numbers have largely changed for the better, there are still a lot of deaf persons who are unemployed for discriminatory reasons. In fact, since 2015 up to now, there have been more than 30% of deaf people who remain part-time working jobs. According to Robin E. Perkins-Dock Ph.D and co-authors, “Communication difficulties have been a significant contributor to poor employment rates, and continue to be a primary barrier to job maintenance and advancement for the employee who is deaf.”

Similarly, in the academic aspect, usual schools and colleges seldom provide a system that helps deaf and hard of hearing students survive and thrive. There are also still a low number of institutions that cater only to the deaf community. Recently, there is an estimated 30% of hearing adults that have acquired a bachelor’s degree, while there is only roughly 15% of deaf people do.


This continuing ordeal in the field of education and employment has caused a rise in anxiety, depression, and stress in the deaf community, as evidence-based data has been released that unemployment from this group has been associated with a range of mental health problems, substance abuse, and some chronic illnesses.

Sign Language Issues

It is unknown how many individuals in America use American Sign Language or ASL, but estimates go from 100,000 to a million. Interpreters aid ASL users in interacting with hearing individuals, and it has been a requirement for public schools to offer ASL interpreters to those who need them. Unfortunately, ASL users, like the deaf and the hard of hearing, do not have control over the interpreter that is provided to him, and this issue can affect them and their capacity to communicate or decipher vital information. Alys Young further puts emphasis on it by saying that, “Interpreters are imbued with powers of representation and portrayal of the person.”

Social Seclusion

Reports say that there are nine out of ten deaf children that are born to parents who can normally heart, but only a third or less have family members who sign up to learn sign language. Some of these family members simply depend on their deaf loved ones to make most of the effort in lip-reading, but in fact, this is significantly difficult to do. This also frequently causes misunderstanding and confusion. In rural areas, on the other hand, deaf children might be the only ones in their school or their neighborhood, making it severely devastating and difficult to establish relationships. “Reduced participation of deaf and hearing impaired individuals in social life leads to a reduction in social adjustment and quality of life,” Guita Movallali, Ph.D. and co-authors explained.



Although it cannot be denied that much has transformed positively for the deaf community through the years, it is still sad to know that stigma, discrimination, and negligence still exist. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals still have much to face – but so do all people who are alive and living today. Thus, the deaf community must not lose hope. And if they, together with the hearing community, work hand in hand in making the world a better place, it will be for all of us.

Interesting Things You Should Know About The Sex Lives Of Deaf People

Sex is a natural part of the human experience. Without sex, there would be no human life on earth in the first place. Yet, some people have this misconception about disabled people, such as the deaf, wherein they don’t enjoy sex, probably because their bodies are not as physically capable as others.

“This capacity to experience the daimonic quality of sex or eros is an essential and centering part of being human. It reminds us that we are, first and foremost, as Freud pointed out, passionate creatures, motivated and driven by primitive, irrational forces operating just below the surface of civilization and rationality far more powerful than our puny little egos,”writes Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. Continue reading “Interesting Things You Should Know About The Sex Lives Of Deaf People”

Deaf Teens And Their Mental Health


For most teenagers, being lonely and frustrated is a common thing. They often feel overwhelmed, and their behaviors are also usually affected by these feelings. Having good mental health is undeniably vital throughout all stages in our lives, but it is in finding ways on how to manage our mental health that we must learn to practice. It’s as important as taking care of our physical health, only a little harder because we don’t see it. It’s often a challenge from within us, and it can be something that we are not in control of.

Now, imagine if you’re a teen that has a hearing loss. These challenges would probably be a little (or quite) more challenging compared to your friends.’ Perhaps you’d feel like you don’t belong or that there are aspects in life that your friends don’t struggle with, but you do. Deaf adults ever receive mental health care,” say Guita Movallali, Ph.D. and collaborators. “Ones of the problems forced for deafness is depression. Depression is a serious mental illness. Categorized depression as the most disabling clinical diagnoses in the world, it has been described as the “common cold” among the mental health problems.”

But don’t despair. These thoughts and feelings are normal and common among the deaf and hard of hearing. There are choices out there, and you know where to look for these choices.

Dealing With Your Mental Health


Teenagers handle many academic and social responsibilities – being deaf can make it even more challenging. If at times you feel that you don’t belong, every interaction with someone can be harder and more stressful. You may even be oblivious about your mental health and that it’s not in good shape right now, maybe because you’re too busy taking care of other challenges as well. But you should already have your support people behind you – your family, friends, teachers, and audiologists – who are wholeheartedly committed to helping you live the most normal life possible.

Here is a list of questions to ask about your mental health right now.

Are you having trouble:

  • Finding a support network that you can depend on when you feel like you had the worst day?
  • Socializing appropriately with classmates and friends at school?
  • Opening up about the difficulties you are facing and instead keep mum about them?
  • Accepting and acknowledging that you do need help?

If you answered yes to these questions, then bravo! You are doing quite well, considering your disability. It would be lovely to hear about your strategies on how to successfully be in great mental shape. “The importance of reliable and up-to-date support for parents’ decisions is critical to the overall well-being of their child,” Poorna Kushalnagar, PhD and co-authors wrote.

If you aren’t sure of your answers or you answered no to most of them, then perhaps connecting with people who are deaf can assist you in finally fulfilling that physical and mental balance in your life. Hook up with programs and workshops that can guide you in how to manage your feelings better. Expand your reach so you’ll learn to deal with different kinds of people.

Keep in mind that as a deaf teen, you are not alone. There are more than 5,000 more deaf people across the United States, and it would be awesome to be able to establish new and old connections through email, chat, and voice.


Mental Health Help

One great way to find a support network during your teenage years is by reaching out to fellow deaf teens and adults alike. Some organizations make this move easier for you and they connect you to other deaf persons who have the same or different experiences with whom you can learn from.

You can also reach out to mental health professionals from BetterHelp, which is one of the most effective methods of achieving good mental health – deaf or not. The professional can help you sort your feelings and guide you into healing and recovery. According to Daniel Holzinger and collaborators, “Enhanced communication with deaf patients results in improved patient compliance with medical recommendation.”

Do not be dismayed. You, too, can dream big and accomplish amazing things. Getting to the finish line might be rough and patchy, but keeping your mental health in check will help you achieve success.




How To Avoid Leaving Out Your Deaf Friend In These Situations


In a world where hearing is impossible or just vaguely existent, those who are deaf or hearing-impaired usually miss out on some or a large part of a conversation. Those who can normally hear can never imagine what it’s like to be deaf. But if your childhood friend or best buddy is a deaf person, then you’ll perhaps be more empathetic and consider the thought of being deaf yourself. What if you can’t hear and understand conversations going on around you, or the television that you’re watching, or the music playing in the background? You would think that it’s quite depressing and stressful to have hearing loss, and it could be.

“For deaf people, isolation is always an issue,” writes Michael Chorost Ph.D.

If your best friend is deaf or hearing-impaired, here are some useful tips to decrease their feelings of isolation and help them feel a little less discouraged and alone in specific situations that will be discussed here.

In The Park Or Playground

A lot of children and teens hang out in the park and playground for recreation. They talk and make conversation; thus, they socialize. If you’re planning something with your friends and your deaf friend is around, include him in the conversation by writing a text that he can read about the plan. Some deaf persons can understand when somebody’s talking to them, but it’s difficult for them to do that if many people are talking at one time. He’d be ashamed to ask and eventually feel insecure.

“Just as being blind or deaf can be partly disabling, to be out of contact with or cut off from one’s emotions can be partly disabling too because important data is missing,” writes Carl E Pickhardt Ph.D.

Also, there are games that you can play in the park that don’t require you to be talking or listening all the time, like card games and board games. Most kids enjoy playing cards and board games, and these are among their favorite ways to pass the time. Your best friend will not feel left out if he joins.


If you’re planning on exercising or playing a sport, you can always let him join basketball or soccer. They’re easy to follow, and they’re contact sports, something that you and your friend can benefit from physically and mentally. If in case he doesn’t hear the referee blowing the whistle in the middle of the game, you can pat him on the back to signal him to stop.

In-School Or Classroom

People who have a hearing loss or hard of hearing require a line of sight that is directed straight to the blackboard. However, most of these hearing-impaired teens are shy to sit in front of the room because they don’t want the attention. The best you can do is making sure that his line of sights is not blocked. Don’t distract him when he’s trying to lip-read or trying to understand body language from the teacher. When class ends, double-check with him if he had understood the lesson, the homework, or if there were any announcements that he had missed. If there are, then you can go over them with him.

Socializing Outside When you’re out of school grounds, and at parties or get-together with your other friends, you must remember that if you turn away from him, he would have trouble understanding you, especially when there’s loud music in the background. If he’s wearing hearing aids, on the other hand, don’t talk louder because this won’t help. Just be clear with your words like always. Better yet, when you’re in a noisy place, such as in a food hall, you can text each other. It’s easier for both of you, and he doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable with you trying to exaggerate your words so he can understand. “Socializing can provide a number of benefits to your physical and mental health,” writes Angela K. Troyer Ph.D., C.Psych.


Final Thoughts

Our helpful tips on this article will help you be a better buddy to your deaf friend, and you can make a tremendous change in your friend’s environment when you offer to help. True friendship can be shown in many ways, and being empathic is compassionate is among them. Your help for your deaf friend can go a long way – that’s for sure.




The Best Jobs For The Deaf According To Psychologists

According to a recent study, only 48% of the deaf community is working. This figure is lower than the 73% employment of the people with no hearing disability. Robin E. Perkins-Dock Ph.D , and co-authors mention that, “research indicates that even with increased professional training, legislative initiatives, and awareness to the needs of employees who are deaf, the employment rate of this population continues to be lower than their peers who can hear.” If this is the case, what is the main reason for this low unemployment rate? Are people discriminating them, or are there just no job opportunities for them? Psychologists say that is not the latter because there are various career offerings for deaf individuals out there. Let us uncover them.


Several deaf people are itching to help other individuals who have a similar disability. In the case of an audiologist, you are responsible for diagnosing, treating, and preventing any hearing loss problem. Most of the work will entail you to monitor cochlear implants, teaching how hearing aids work, training these people on how to lip-read, and more.

This position will also put your sign language skills to use since you will mostly be talking to these people through this medium.

Social Worker

Are you aware that there is a high demand for social workers who can communicate with deaf individuals? The reason for this is that there is an increasing number of deaf clients who want to make a social difference in the world of the deaf. “Culturally sensitive and accessible services for deaf and hard of hearing people can often best be provided by social workers who are themselves deaf and hard of hearing, who have specialized language and communication skills, as well as unique cultural knowledge of this population at risk,” Martha A. Sheridan, Ph.D. and co-author explained. However, since they are not that knowledgeable about how to communicate with their target market, their efforts fail to materialize.

Social Media Manager

Being a social media manager is a more comfortable type of work since most of the action happens in the online world. You will be responsible for managing, creating, and maintaining ongoing online content, which will be market your client’s branding. This job will also entail you to create custom art, videos, images, and other promotional materials which can be posted to increase the visibility of the organization.


A social media manager must not only be creative, but he or she must also be data-savvy. This job also requires you to study your audience through the information from your online traffic. Analyzing all of these numbers will help you pinpoint all of the ongoing social trends happening, which will help you in the creation of your future content.

Sign Language Interpreter

Not a lot of people are familiar with the ins and outs of the American Sign Language. Hence, professional sign language interpreters are in demand. Only several individuals can communicate complex and technical information to the audience because this skill requires extensive training.


For you to practice this career, you will need a certification licensed by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). Once you have this, you can take any work in this field and earn a minimum of $50,000 annually.


Now that there is an increasing trend in the use of search engine optimization (SEO), more and more companies hire writers who can boost their online presence. All you have to do is to conduct some data analytics based on your online audience and come up with articles which will satisfy the patterns and trends.

If you are not into this line of work but is still fond of writing, you can also try writing your book. You can use your hearing loss at your advantage and come up with a unique perspective of the world. This strategy was what Donald Harrington, Sara Novic, and Marlee Martin used to put their names out there.

Employment Counselor

Believe it or not, there are employment advocacy programs established for the deaf community. They not only introduce jobs to these people, but they also assist in acquiring their pre-employment requirements after they get hired. Also, many employment counselors partner with work agencies so that it will be easier for them to know which jobs are open or not.


Employment counselors work in rehabilitation centers, schools, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Speech-Language Pathologist

The main focus area of speech-language pathologists is addressing communication and speech disorders – whether the patient is a child or an adult. These experts guide patients with language, hearing, speech, and swallowing issues, which may be a result of genetic disorder problems, hearing loss, brain injuries, and other learning and developmental disabilities.

Aside from helping these individuals with their problems, one of their tasks also includes educating the people around the patient. The parents and other family members receive additional lectures on the specifics on how to go about the recovery process of their loved one.

Carrie Lou Garberoglio, Ph. D. and collaborators wrote that, “deaf people were as likely to work full time as their hearing peers. This suggests that once deaf people obtain employment, they are just as likely to work full time as their hearing peers.” Aside from the jobs mentioned above, there are still a plethora of opportunities for the deaf community. You only have to know where to look and ask help, and you’ll find the right fit for you.

Is There A Happy Ever After For Deaf-Hearing Relationships?

Yes, it is possible. However, it will take more than just work and patience. Here are the things to keep in mind when you are in a deaf-hearing relationship.


Communication Through Different Languages Is Key

Excellent communication is needed in any relationship. However, for deaf-hearing couples, communicating with each other is already a challenge. A hearing and a deaf person speak in two different languages. If a deaf-hearing couple wants to forge excellent communication with each other, they must individually learn each other’s languages. Melissa L. Anderson with collaborator conducted a study on this and found out that, “when asked to rank most important partner characteristics, mode of communication was the most highly ranked among Deaf and HoH [Hard of Hearing] college students, placing communication compatibility above hearing status, identity, or educational background.”

If you are a hearing person, you must make an effort to try and learn sign language or finger spelling. If you are a deaf person, you must try and learn basic speech and lip reading. By learning your partner’s language, you and your partner will have a great understanding of each other.

Never Leave Your Partner Excluded

Being excluded in a lot of social meetings is a familiar source of conflicts for deaf-hearing couples. For deaf people, social meetings with her partner’s hearing friends are frustrating. They talk too fast, and her boyfriend usually doesn’t explain the conversation. Meanwhile, hearing people feel intimidated by their deaf partner’s friends when they sign too fast.


In times like these, it is essential for both people to try to include their partners in social meetings. If your partner has trouble keeping up with your friends, try to explain the situation to them. You might also want to tell your friends about your partner’s case, so your friends can adjust for your partner.

Meeting The Families Will Be Difficult, At First

Meeting your partner’s friends is one thing. But meeting your family’s friends is another. For many deaf-hearing couples, spending time with their partner’s family members is probably the most intimidating experience in their relationship.

Family meetings for deaf people can go both ways. A hearing person’s family may be delighted to meet the deaf partner. However, the family may also have the least amount of understanding of deaf communication. As a result, the deaf partner may feel like they are being misunderstood.

The same goes for hearing people meeting their partner’s deaf family. The hearing person may be able to get along well with the family as many deaf people come from hearing families. However, a hearing person may feel uncomfortable being with so many deaf people in one room. They may feel afraid of being misunderstood.

Don’t expect that these things will happen only in the first meeting. These situations can occur in every family meeting. However, with the right patience and dedication, families of both parties will warm up to the couple’s relationship. “Deaf and hearing marriage presents challenges to both the deaf and hearing partner. Even oral deaf people married to signing deaf people face marital challenges,” John Carew, MD.


Many people will say that deaf-hearing relationships will not work. “It’s too complicated,” they say; “The culture is too different,” they say. According to Margaret I. Wallhagen, PhD, “Hearing loss significantly influences this ability to communicate and participate in activities and data document the multiple negative effects it has on the person with hearing loss as well as his or her partner.” But, the truth is, any relationship can work as long as both partners are committed to it. Relationships will only work if you and your partner make dedicated steps in keeping your love alive.

Do you have any other tips for deaf-hearing couples?

Caring For Elderly Loved Ones With Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a common condition affecting the elderly. It occurs in one out of three seniors from ages 65 to 75. This illness among older adults happens once their health declines resulting in other disabilities alongside hearing impairment. According to Sidney T. Bogardus, Jr, MD and co-authors, “Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic health conditions and has important implications for patient quality of life. However, hearing loss is substantially underdetected and undertreated.” Having the elderly suffering from this illness entails a change of lifestyle and priorities in the family to cater to the needs of the elderly relative. “Patients who are deaf or hard of hearing are at high risk of breakdowns in health care communication,” says Michael M. McKee, MD, MPH.

There are a lot of things to consider in taking care of a senior with hearing impairment. Luckily, there are viable options for healthcare services. If you have the resources, it is pretty easy to send an old disabled relative to any nursing home. But before doing so, consider what they might be experiencing beyond their disabilities.

Emotional Challenges For Seniors With Hearing Loss


Towards the onset of losing the auditory senses, elders may experience some adverse emotional and psychological effects. Hearing loss triggers negative feelings that may imply withdrawal from close friends and family, changing the way they usually socialize and causing a rift in their relationships. These are some of what they experience:

  1. Feelings Of Inadequacy

Elders with hearing loss tend to feel ashamed because of their disability. There will be times that they will feel embarrassed around other people and thus avoid interaction.

This feeling may trigger depression that would cause them to isolate themselves from friends and family.

  1. Feelings Of Incompetence

Upon developing hearing loss, elders also lose some capabilities they used to do before being impaired. Since their health is deteriorating, more assistance is required, and they will soon need help with their daily activities. It may lead to low self-esteem, and they would likely want to live a sedentary life like always sleeping, sitting, and resting rather than partaking in their usual activities.

  1. High Risk Of Anxiety

Anxiety is too heavy a word because it entails critical and adverse psychological implications that often do not apply in most situations. However, constant worrying and overthinking may trigger episodes of anxiety.

A study done among deaf Norwegians shows that people with chronic diseases are four times likely to have mental problems than those who are not disabled. It may result in a heightened sense of hopelessness and lack of motivation.

Anxiety triggers among the elderly with hearing loss often come from fears such as losing significant relationships and being a burden to the family.

Choosing A Healthcare Service

In some cultures, the sons, daughters, and grandchildren are the primary caretakers of the elderly. Getting help from professional caretakers or sending older adults to a nursing home is rarely practiced in these countries.


However, each family setup varies. With the demands of work and probably raising the kids, the traditional living arrangement may not be beneficial in some cases. Thus, it is an excellent option to avail of the services of a healthcare facility that can better address the needs of your elderly relative. Should you choose a nursing facility, here are some things you should consider:

  1. Proximity Of The Nursing Home

As much as possible, the facility should not be more than two hours away from your home. Your family should be able to visit at least three times a month to check in with your elderly relative. Frequent interactions with loved ones lessen the risk of mental health problems among the elderly such as dementia and depression according to studies.

  1. Healthcare Facilities That Cater To Deaf Patients

This one is probably the most important thing to consider. Many deaf patients experience severe communication barriers that result in improper treatment according to studies. Most patients experience distress, fear, and mistrust because of frequent miscommunication with their general healthcare practitioner.

When choosing a facility, check the credentials of the medical staff and medical practitioners. Be sure to research if they have undergone training and programs that make them effectively communicate with deaf or patients with hearing loss. Also, make sure that the home has interpreters in their staff.

If finding the right place that can cater to the needs of your elderly relative becomes difficult, there is always the option of hiring a caretaker. Hiring a stranger into your home is quite scary, but if you think that this option is best, these should be part of your checklist:

  1. The agency has a strong quality assurance policy.
  2. The agency did a meticulous background check of the caretaker.
  3. The credentials of the caretaker must meet the standard minimum for being qualified for the job (education, training, license, experience, etc.).
  4. Caretakers should be fully insured and bonded by the agency.

Final Thoughts


Nowadays, it is easy to look past the needs of the elderly. “Sensory abilities decline with age. More than 5% of the world’s population, approximately 360 million people, have disabling hearing loss. In adults, disabling hearing loss is defined by thresholds greater than 40 dBHL in the better hearing ear,” Adrian Davis, OBE, FFPH, FSS, FRSA, PhD and collaborators wrote. Unlike babies, we are not very much hands-on in taking care of our older relatives. However, we should remember that it is more than the “responsibility” that requires us to spend time and money on their health care needs. It is more about giving back to those who took care of us when we were young.


The Stigma Against The Deaf And How To Deal With It

Lacking a fundamental sense, such as sight or hearing, is a very challenging obstacle. Dealing with such is made even more difficult by the stigma that society associates with the disabled. Even in the contemporary world, where inclusion is supposedly at its peak in human history, people still see forms of discrimination against the deaf and other disabled individuals. With millions of people around the world who are deaf or hard of hearing, this means that multitudes still suffer continuously from all the prejudice against them.

Much of the stigma associated with deafness is due to ignorance. By further understanding the plight of the deaf and how stigma against them arises, it becomes possible to create solutions that will help protect them from further discrimination.

Mechanisms Of Deafness


Deafness is a complex condition that can be brought about by myriad factors. Irma M Munoz-Baell and co-author wrote that, “hearing loss is a very complex phenomenon, which has many and serious consequences for people and involves many factors and issues that should be carefully examined.”

Most commonly, deafness occurs gradually as a person ages. However, it may also be congenital, or it may suddenly arise anytime during the life of an individual. It may be due to genetics, infection, or exposure to overwhelmingly loud sounds. It may be a purely physical problem, caused by damage to the parts of the auditory system, or it might signify a mental disorder.

The point is that deafness is a complicated condition that can be hard to understand for some people. This misunderstanding can then give rise to stigma.

Misunderstanding And Ignorance


When some people encounter deaf people, they tend to jump to unfair conclusions. As deaf people may have trouble understanding communication, they may be dismissed as ignorant or stupid. Unlike many other disabilities, deafness is mostly invisible, making it less likely for people to recognize that they do have a disability. People may believe that they are only pretending to not listen to them during conversations when in fact they really cannot hear the person properly.

Isolation And Discrimination

“Stigma appears to play a role in-group formation, particularly in minority group formation,” Megan A. Jones, Ph.D. said. Because of the communication hurdles of being deaf or hard of hearing, people who have auditory problems are usually forced into relative isolation. They have a harder time in social interactions than other people. Some people also believe they will be less likely to provide adequate work, less productive than other people, or be a nuisance.  As a result, they may be glossed over during job applications, refused admission into social circles, or even refused entry into establishments.


Due to their disability, the deaf may be unable to enjoy amenities other people can enjoy. Many people do not go with the trouble of ensuring their products and services are accessible to the deaf. As a result, the deaf community is further isolated from a society that does not seem to care about them.


However, times are changing. Governments are passing and enforcing laws that ban discrimination against the deaf.  People with auditory problems are starting to form their social groups. They are speaking out for their rights, alongside their loved ones and other supporters who are fighting for greater inclusion. Many are also getting adequate help from platforms like BetterHelp, which allows them to get their message across digitally.

To be able to confront the stigma that surrounds them, they can take comfort in the fact that they are not alone in their struggles and that they are part of a caring and supportive community. Gaylene Becker, Ph.D. explains that “deaf identity and the development of a social support system are two factors that intervene positively in the management of stigma.” Finally, they need to realize that their disability does not reduce their fundamental humanity. Deaf or otherwise, they are still people who can surpass their limits and reach for their dreams.

Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Everyday Struggles

Hearing loss is challenging as you’re faced with a lot of difficulties. Those who have loss of hearing experience mental health concerns. Because of the partial or complete decline of their ability to listen, disorders like depression, schizophrenia, substance abuse, and anxiety are some causes that those with hearing loss are facing every day.

“[Those with hearing loss] certainly understand that they’re outsiders in the hearing world, and no matter how good their skills at speaking and lip-reading, they may never completely fit in,” writes David Ludden Ph.D.

There's a struggle to interact with other people

Understanding Hearing Loss

How Hearing Loss Impact People

People who have hearing loss also find it difficult to communicate with their care providers as sometimes, lip-reading isn’t enough. The communication gap is the issue, and there are only a few providers who are equipped with sign language. How can those with hearing impairment be fully understood when they cannot express themselves vocally, or people they are trying to communicate with have limited skills? Even those with a voice, find it hard to process their emotions. What more for those with complete hearing loss?

“Prior to diagnosis and learning that their child may have hearing difficulties, parents often have difficulty understanding the needs of their baby,” writes Robert T Muller Ph.D.

Hearing Loss Statistics

About 15-26% of the population will experience hearing loss but to have a complete disorder even before learning the spoken language is such a challenge. Nearly seven in 10,000 people have a loss of hearing, and their only way to communicate is through sign language.

In the world today, wherein hearing is a valuable sense, struggling to fit in and function well along with stress and prejudice may lead to developing mental health issues like depression or substance abuse in the deaf community.

Hearing Loss In Children

There are also students who have a hearing loss that also suffers from developmental delays and Autism Spectrum Disorder, among others. Deaf children who have difficulty communicating with their families can also be affected by mental health issues. What’s worse is that these children are also more likely to be deprived of when in school and become a victim of sexual assault.

“Deaf and hard-of-hearing populations experience abuse about one and a half times more frequently than those without hearing difficulties,” writes Mellissa Withers, Ph.D., M.H.S.

Seeking Mental Wellness Services For People Who Have Hearing Loss

People who have hearing loss find it difficult to obtain mental health services. In a small study with 54 respondents, more than half of respondents with these difficulties weren’t able to see and access the services that they needed for healing.

There are also times when people with an impairment who have mood disorders are underdiagnosed due to the following:
    • Lack of experienced sign language interpreters
    • Things getting astray in translation
    • Differentiation in how deaf people display their feelings to a mental health professional

Supplement Hearing Loss

You can’t substitute reading and writing for spoken language. Hearing loss can significantly affect vocabulary. Lip reading to communicate with those with hearing impairment isn’t accurate either with only 26-40% of adults being able to lip read.

Hearing issues: prompter doing sign language

People with hearing loss who participated in the studies said that they prefer professionals with hearing difficulties to give them counseling services. The problem is that there are not many specialists who have deafness to cater to people with hearing loss. In case you run out of ideas, you may try chatting with a BetterHelp psychologist.

The only way to deal with hearing loss is to keep on moving forward. Losing one’s hearing is a lifelong challenge.

The only way to deal with hearing loss is to keep on moving forward and adapt to the best of their abilities.

How The Hearing Loss Community Should Be Differentiated

Mental health professionals should also know how to differentiate when a person with hearing loss shows their feelings as compared to those who aren’t. For people who can hear, pounding on the floor may seem like an act of aggression, but for people with hearing disabilities, this is a standard way to get attention. Those who have hearing loss also rely on showing strong expressions of feelings as these small details indicate their change of mood. This must be noted.

know how to differentiate when a person with hearing loss shows their feelings

a deaf boy communicating via sign language. He communicate with limited skills

An Issue Among People With Hearing Loss

A study concluded that people with hearing loss have a fear of being misunderstood. The participants in the study stated that there are times when they were misdiagnosed.

With that, the best people to assist those who have hearing loss with mental health issues must also have hearing loss, as well. The National Association of the Deaf has more information on this matter. Professionals with little to no experience in working with people with hearing imapirment should be careful in treating them.

Final Thoughts: In A Nutshell

Hearing loss is no joke. Despite several mediums that can assist with communication, a lot of people with hearing loss are still struggling to interact with other people. This leads to psychological problems that worsen their conditions. Hence, there should be more programs and tools to be developed to help the deaf community to lead better lives.


5 Things To Remember When Dating A Deaf Person

Differences are common causes of misunderstandings between people in romantic relationships. Because of the diversity of perspectives, it sometimes becomes difficult for two people to reconcile. It has triggered failed marriages, broken families, and even unsuccessful dating attempts.



If people who had no physical disabilities have these difficulties, then all the more are these challenges apparent for the differently-abled ones, for instance, deaf people. They are not able to appreciate sounds and music the same way that hearing people do. It gets difficult to communicate even with the closest people because some things are always easier said than done.


Should you get to find love in the person of someone with hearing disabilities, you have to be ready to understand them in many different ways. Here are five things to take note when dating a deaf person:



  1. Know A Bit About Sign Language

Sign language is a way to communicate using the movement of the hands, facial expressions, and gestures to create signs that convey specific messages.


Two made sign languages are common: the American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL). These are distinct from spoken languages and not mere translations. They also vary depending on the location. It pays to determine which system is used by your date for you to communicate properly. Francois Grosjean Ph.D. say that “learners of ASL become accustomed to signing and speaking at the same time when using sign language, that is they produce a sign and whisper its English translation equivalent.”


  1. Be Sensitive, But Not Too Much

People who have no hearing problems admittedly find it difficult to be acquainted with the struggles of the deaf. Be sensitive about the small things such as making sure to get the attention of your date before starting a conversation or making sure that multiple people do not talk at the same time since this confuses them.


However, don’t overdo it to the extent of making them feel incapacitated. Yes, people who have hearing problems are differently-abled, but it never made them less of a person.

“We also need to learn to value our sensitivity and see the potential strength inherent in it. Being highly sensitive often includes being highly empathic toward those close to us. The capacity for empathic responses is a trait that benefits our relationships,” Dianne Grande Ph.D. explains.


  1. Speak In A Normal Manner

In line with the reminder to not overdo sensitivity, don’t try too hard as well to dramatize speech. Speak naturally with clear and separate words. Give them time for them to understand what you are saying and try to gauge whether both of you are on the same side.


However, you need not shout nor speak too slowly also, as this may distort the way the mouth speaks; thereby making it hard for the deaf person to lipread. Increase only the tone of your voice or reduce the speed of speech when you are asked to do so.


  1. Make The Proper Gestures

The non-verbal cues play a very crucial role in communicating with a deaf person. Firstly, maintain eye contact with your date. If you have glasses on, take them off. Don’t turn your head while speaking. All these allow the deaf person to focus on what you are saying.


Moreover, make good use of hand and body movements to convey your thoughts better. You may point towards a particular object, hold up something in your hand, or raise your fingers to indicate numbers or any other verbal cues that help boost the communication process.


  1. Choose A Place That’s Quieter

Wait for the surrounding noise to tone down before starting a conversation on your date. Even better, make sure to identify particular locations with less noise. It disrupts the attention and focus of deaf people.



For instance, a noise like the horns of a car on the road or drilling of equipment may be shunned as background noise for those who can hear. However, they can turn out to be distracting for the deaf.


Communication barriers are present, with or without hearing difficulties. While it takes patience and understanding to adjust to a relationship with a deaf person, it does not differ much with the adjustment that is required in relationships when both people can hear. “So-called disabled people are far more like us “normal” folk that most think,” Jim Taylor Ph.D. wrote.


For instance, accepting a person’s flaws, staying by their side during the most challenging moments, and loving their imperfections – these are important in all relationships, regardless of physical capacity, because ultimately, love is a universal and all-encompassing feeling we all know and desire.