7 Things to Know About Being Deaf

Two women learning how to sign

Did you know that September is Deaf Awareness Month? This month-long celebration began in 1958 as the International Day of the Deaf in Rome, Italy, and has evolved into a worldwide celebration of the Deaf Community. In addition, this month is also dedicated to sharing knowledge and resources to help people understand and advocate for Deaf people across the globe.

1. There are different degrees of hearing loss.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) identifies seven degrees of hearing loss which cover hearing loss ranges from -10 db HL all the way to +91db HL.

Degrees of Hearing Loss

  • Normal
  • Slight
  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Moderately severe
  • Severe
  • Profound

2. There are also different types of hearing loss.

There are also different types of hearing loss based on which part of a person’s ear is damaged.

Types of Hearing Loss

  • Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem transferring sound through the outer and/or middle ear, making it difficult to reach the inner ear
  • Sensorineural hearing loss occurs due to problems of the inner ear and/or the auditory nerve
  • Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss

For more information about the types of hearing loss, check out our article “Types of Hearing Loss.”

3. Being Deaf is not considered a disability by the Deaf Community.

It just means the community has a different way of communicating. However, some Deaf individuals self-identify as Deaf and Disabled, while other only consider themselves Deaf.

4. Sign language is not universal.

According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are more than 200 signed languages used worldwide. Similar to how different dialects and spoken languages develop, sign languages are created by the people who use them to communicate. American Sign Language (ASL) is different from British Sign Language (BSL) even though English is one of the primary spoken languages in the US and the UK.

5. Not all deaf people know sign language.

Just because someone is deaf doesn’t mean that person also knows—or even uses— sign language. Some deaf people might speak, read lips, or use written communication as their primary communication methods.

6. Hearing aids/devices are personal choices.

Using hearing aids, cochlear implants, or other hearing assistive technology is a personal choice. There are many other ways to communicate that don’t involve hearing at all.

7. No two deaf people are the same.

As mentioned above, hearing loss exists on a spectrum. There are different types of hearing loss, a variety of ways to communicate, and unique self-identities within the Deaf community.

At Amdahl Hearing, we provide expert service, resources, and education year-round. Read our blog to learn more about hearing loss.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.