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Hearing Impairment

Hearing loss is measured as the increase in decibels [dB] of a person’s hearing thresholds [the softest sounds which can be detected] relative to normal hearing levels [0 - 20 dB]. Thresholds are tested across the frequencies of speech.
Hearing loss is described as Mild, Moderate, Severe or Profound.
Hearing loss is also described according to the site of damage to the auditory system : Conductive hearing loss - a difficulty with the transmission of sound through the outer ear or middle ear. Conductive hearing loss may be temporary or permanent; Sensorineural hearing loss - a difficulty with the inner ear process in the conversion of sound into electrical signals in the cochlea, or in the transmission of the sound along the auditory nerve to the brain. A sensorineural hearing loss is a permanent loss; Mixed hearing loss - a hearing loss with a conductive component and a sensorineural component

Inclusion is the preferred educational option. School systems make every effort to do this. If it is not possible, they use either special classes or special schools with curriculum and staffing modifications. There are two approaches, one based on the use of signing and the other using an oral approach.

This page looks at associations, selected educational sites, children’s sites, parent sites, government bodies, cued speech, hearing information, magazines, journals, resources, hearing technology and other information.

The Special Education Resources page provides further options. Check the Auslan page for information on signing.


Australian Sites

  • Better Hearing Australia
    Originally Victorian, now national.
  • Deaf Australia
    ‘National peak organisation for Deaf people in Australia. It represents the views of Deaf people who use Auslan [Australian Sign Language]’.
  • Deafness Forum
    ‘Exists to improve the quality of life for Australians who are Deaf, have a hearing impairment or have a chronic disorder of the ear’.
  • Deaf Sports Australia
    ‘Vibrant organisation focussed on facilitating the access of deaf and hard of hearing people to the best sporting opportunities available in Australia’.
  • Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind
    One of Australia’s educators for children with special hearing needs.

State Sites

International Sites

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Education Sites

Check other relevant state/territory links on the main Special Education page.

Selected Schools & Teaching Centres

  • Aurora School [Vic.]
    Early intervention; DeafBlind Education programs.
  • Centre for Hearing Impaired - Adelaide High School
    ‘Students enrolled in the Centre have access to all curriculum offerings and are offered support by trained Teachers of the deaf or support staff’.
  • Cora Barclay Centre,
    ‘In 1989, the Centre became a therapy centre with a focus on training parents to teach their children to listen and speak using the auditory approach’.
  • deafConnectED
    ’The only specialist centre providing advice to the Vocational Education and Training [VET] sector and plays a key role in informing government policy’. NMIT, Victoria.
  • Mayfield St Dominic’s Centre for Hearing Impaired
    Catholic Schools Office Maitland-Newcastle. ‘Provides an education of excellence for children who are deaf and hearing impaired’.
  • Schools for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children
    Aussie Deaf Kids. ‘Find a school with a support unit or special facilities for deaf children in your state or territory’.
  • Taralye
    ‘An internationally recognised early intervention centre that has provided inclusive oral language programs for children with hearing loss and their families in Victoria’.
  • The Shepherd Centre
    Internationally renowned school for children from 0-6 with hearing difficulty. Dominantly oral approach to teaching with partially impaired children.
  • WA Institute for Deaf Education
    ‘Parents are provided with a choice of educational settings, ranging from an inclusive placement in a regular school, to metropolitan specialist schools that are located in inclusive settings’.

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Hearing Technology

Cued Speech

Hearing Technology

Cochlear Implants

Hearing Aids

  • Hearing Aids 101
    ‘Designed to help consumers learn about the wide variety of hearing aids and related products on the market today; latest innovations; tips for shopping for hearing and assistive learning devices’. Canadian.
  • Hearing aids : How to choose the right one
    ‘Which is best for you ? Find out what to consider when choosing a hearing aid’. Mayo Clinic. USA.
  • National Hearing Care
    ‘Hearing aids are complicated technical instruments tailored to the individual client’s needs. There are many different types and styles of hearing aids’. Australian.

Other Sites

  • Australian Communication Exchange
    ‘Empowering those who are Deaf or have a hearing, speech or communication impairment, to obtain access to the telephone and other telecommunication networks’.
  • Captioned Telephone
    ‘The captioned telephone works like any other phone with one important difference : It shows you every word the other party says throughout the conversation’.
  • Closed Captioning FAQ
    An overview to “technical stuff”.
  • Conexu Foundation
    ‘We provide and facilitate services or solutions for people who are communication impaired, Deaf or hard of hearing’.
  • Media Access Australia [Captioning]
    ‘Provides information and applies technological solutions to media access issues, including captioning’.
  • National Relay Service
    ‘Phone solution for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment’.
  • Technology Access Program
    Information Resources section includes ‘papers, references, tutorials, presentation slides, conference proceedings and other information’.
  • Using Captions to Support Literacy
    Overview and links to a range of information sources and resources.

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Children’s Sites

Sites designed for children of all ages.

  • Futurika
    Deaf sites for children, and related to children.
  • Oticon
    School, Leisure activities, home, Teen solution, more.

Hearing Information

Information about ears & diseases and conditions related to loss of hearing.

Parental Involvement, Information & Support

  • Building Blocks
    ‘Put together for you using the knowledge and experiences of parents in our online support groups’. Check the Parents page, for more information.
  • Hearing Impairment
    Raising Children Network, Australia. Information, videos, links.
  • Information Sheets - Families
    Deaf Children Australia.
  • Info to Go
    ‘A wealth of information and resources on educational, linguistic, social, and emotional development of deaf and hard of hearing children’.
  • Parents of Deaf Children
    ‘PODC aims to provide families with independent and unbiased information and support’.


  • AudiologyNet
    ‘Providing web site links in audiology for patients, family members, students, and healthcare providers. Intended for informational purposes only’.
  • Deaf Websites
    A second listing can be found at Deaf Linx.
  • Decibel [Loudness] Comparison Chart
    Comparative figures for activities and sounds.
  • Telstra
    Information on ways in which Telstra can help people with disabilities.

Resources for Professionals

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Other Information

Australian Sites

  • Aussie Deaf Kids
    ‘Online support and resources for parents of hard of hearing and deaf children living in Australia’.
  • Deaf Children Australia
    ‘Information, advocacy, support services and educational resources that respond to the needs of these children and their families’.

Government Agencies & Bodies

State and federal and both agencies and government-related groups.

  • Australian Hearing
    ‘We provide a full range of hearing services for children and young people up to the age of 21, eligible adults and aged pensioners, and most war veterans’. Their Related Sites page is worth checking.
  • Hearing Services Program
    Department of Health, Australia. Hearing Information, Available Services, For Hearing Professionals.
  • National Acoustic Laboratories
    ‘Undertakes scientific investigations into hearing, hearing habilitation and rehabilitation, and the prevention of hearing loss. The research division of Australian Hearing’.

International Sites

Magazines & Journals

For all educational journals, see the Education Journals page.

  • Deaf Today
    ‘Bringing you the news daily from A to Z from around the world’. Includes archives.
  • Hearing Health Magazine
    News, current issue, archive, advice.
  • Sea Hear
    BBC. Video, message board, latest news, other information. Access a print version.

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1. Hearing Impairment [HI] ? Education Queensland, 23 Jan. 2014. Web. 20 April 2014.

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