Deaf Facts

DeafNetwork had these fascinating facts in its newsletter. I don’t know who deserves credit for putting this together, but it’s a neat read. The resources, however, appear at the bottom of the article.
At least 1 out of every 10 people (8.9% to be exact) in the USA has a hearing loss.
Generally speaking, it is estimated that at age 65, 1 out of every 4 people in the USA has some degree of hearing loss;
At age 75, 1 out of every 3 people in the USA has some degree of hearing loss;
At age 85, 1 out of every 2 people in the USA has some degree of hearing loss; and
At age 95, nearly everyone has at least some degree of hearing loss.

Hearing loss ranks equally with arthritis, high blood pressure, and heart disease as one of the most common physical ailments or conditions.
It is estimated that 30 school aged children per 1,000 have a hearing loss.
There are approximately 47,000 schools or programs for deaf and hard of hearing Americans.
Almost 80% of American deaf and hard of hearing school aged children are being educated in the public school system. A majority of these students use a combination of note takers, interpreters, amplification devices, or teachers with specific training.
Nearly 60% of all deaf students in America are taught through a combination of manual/ visual (sign language), aural (amplification) and oral (speech and lip reading) communication. Only 40% are taught through aural and/or oral communication only.
Though hearing loss may cause language delays for some children, it has no bearing on intellectual aptitude.
The biggest disabling factor for deaf and hard of hearing people are stereotypical attitudes.
A majority of deaf and hard of hearing people have difficulty speech reading as less than 20% of what is said can be clearly distinguished on the lips.
73% of deaf school aged students in America are considered pre-lingually deaf. In other words, 27% lose their hearing between the ages of 2 and 18 years of age – after learning at least some spoken language.
90% of deaf individuals have hearing parents and hearing children. Less than 10% of those who are deaf have a genetic or hereditary hearing loss.
More than 2 million Americans who rely on sign language as their primary mode of communication. This translates to an estimated 500,000 households.
American Sign Language (ASL) is the fifth most spoken language in the United States.
There are more than 350 nations in the world but barely more than 50 countries officially recognize sign language as an official language.
Less than one-fifth of all deaf and hard of hearing people in developing third world nations receive any formal education.
Many countries in the world do not allow deaf citizens the right to earn a drivers license or vote in elections.
Some countries deny basic human rights to their deaf and hard of hearing citizens (including the right to work, own property, marry and raise a family).
* This information has come from a wide variety of sources including: the National Center for Health Statistics; The National Center for Disease Control; the U.S. Census Bureau; Gallaudet University’s Center for Assessment and Demographic Studies; The National Association of the Deaf; The World Federation of the Deaf; Hearing Loss Association of America; Gallaudet University’s PreCollege Programs; and research authors: Davis, Stokoe, Lane, Gannon, Padden and Humphries.

1 comment

    • Richard Roehm on September 27, 2007 at 4:02 pm
    • Reply

    2-3 Million rely on ASL? There goes the “ASL Majority” of the 15-20 million people with hearing disabilities.

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