"After a lifetime in silence and darkness…to be deaf is a greater affliction than to be blind...Hearing is the soul of knowledge and information of a high order. To be cut off from hearing is to be isolated indeed."
- Any degree of hearing loss can be educationally handicapping for children. Even children with mild to moderate hearing losses can miss up to 50% of classroom discussions. Unmanaged hearing loss in children can affect their speech and language development, academic capabilities and educational development, and self-image and social/emotional development.
- Studies estimate that as much as 90% of what young children learn is attributable to the reception of incidental conversations around them (Flexer, 1993).
- 37% of children with only minimal hearing loss fail at least one grade (Bess, 1998).
- There are many psychological effects to hearing loss, including frustration, withdrawal, and depression. Trouble communicating with others creates a strain on relationships and a loss of esteem. It’s far better to deal with hearing loss than to pretend it isn’t happening—or to ignore the effect it is having on those around you.
- The deaf and hard-of-hearing account for the single largest group of disabled people in America. Of the more than 49 million disabled, at least 28 million have a significant hearing impairment that interferes with communication. 28 million adds up to more than all those suffering from heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, blindness, tuberculosis, venereal disease and kidney disease combined.
- Deafness is the world’s leading birth defect.
- In the U.S. alone, at least 12,000 babies are born each year with some degree of hearing loss; 90% of these births are to hearing parents. (National Institute on Deafness & Other Communication Disorders)
- Hearing aids do not benefit everyone who has a hearing loss.
- The FDA first approved cochlear implant devices for adults in 1985 and for children in 1990.
- Typically, the younger a child who was born deaf is implanted, the greater the benefit achieved in the areas of speech perception and speech and language development.
- Cochlear implantation consistently ranks among the most cost-effective medical procedures ever reported.
- Despite the fact that 1 out of 10 people are impacted by hearing loss, hearing studies attract less than 1% of medical research dollars. (National Institutes of Health)
- Less than half of the children who qualify actually receive an implant. (Cochlear Implant Center)
- Children with at least two years of cochlear implant experience are placed in mainstream normal hearing classrooms at twice the rate of hearing impaired children without implants. This saves the education system up to $200,000 in cost from first through twelfth grade.
- According to 2005 estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), 278 million people worldwide have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears.
- Approximately 1 of every 1,000 infants is born deaf while 6 of every 1,000 are born with some degree of hearing loss.
- 20 to 30 percent of hearing loss in children occurs during infancy or early childhood.
- Only 30 percent of all spoken sounds are visible on the lips.
- 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).
- 93 percent of deaf children are born into hearing families; only 7 percent are born into deaf families.
- 250 million people in the world have disabling hearing impairment- 2/3rds of these people live in impoverished nations.
- A deaf child born into poverty in a developing country is less likely to overcome their socio-economic status than his or her hearing peers.