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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; 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; Mixed hearing loss - a hearing loss with a conductive component and a sensorineural component
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As indicated on the Special Education home page, inclusion is a preferred educational option wherever this is possible and every effort is normally made to achieve this. Where this is not possible, special classes or special schools involving curriculum and staffing modifications are used. There are also two approaches in this area, one based on the use of signing and the other preferring no signing.

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.

Associations

Australian 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’.
  • Australian Federation of Deaf Societies
    ‘Established to meet the needs of organisations providing services to the Australian Deaf Community’.
  • 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. Now represents all interests and viewpoints of the Deaf and hearing impaired communities of Australia’.
  • 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

  • Action on Hearing Loss
    ‘Largest charity working to change the world for the UK’s 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people’. Information, resources, media centre and more.
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    ‘Professional, scientific, and credentialling association for audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists’.
  • Canadian Hard of Hearing Association
    ‘Consumer-based organisation formed by and for hard of hearing Canadians. CHHA works cooperatively with professionals, service providers and government bodies, and provides information about hard of hearing issues and solutions’.
  • National Association of the Deaf
    ‘The oldest and largest constituency organisation safeguarding the accessibility and civil rights of 28 million deaf and hard of hearing Americans’.
  • National Cued Speech Association
    Of most interest would be news, features, articles and resources.
  • Riksförbundet DHB
    ‘Initiates and participates in several projects related to our children and youth. The projects are performed in order to improve the education of our children and to improve the understanding for our children’s situation’. Scroll down to English option.
  • The Canadian Hearing Society
    ‘Leading provider of services, products and information that remove barriers to communication, advance hearing health and promote equity for people who are culturally deaf, oral deaf, deafened and hard of hearing’. Check their Programs & Services page.

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Education Sites

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

  • A Resource Guide To Support Classroom Teachers
    The range of hearing loss, preparing to teach such students, student interviews, adaptation help, communication tip sheets, student tip sheets, equipment needs, trouble shooting, selected vocabulary, other resources. British Columbia Ministry of Education.
  • Deaf Education
    Most value would be Resources, Instructional Resources and Faculty Resources directories. To access some areas you must register.
  • Oral Deaf Education
    ‘By combining today’s sophisticated hearing technologies with intensive early intervention, oral deaf education builds a child’s confidence and life skills by teaching children to listen and talk’. US site. Some information relevant in Australia.
  • Preschoolers
    Transition to School, language & learning, stories and more. Similar pages are available for Primary School, Secondary School and Beyond School. Australian context.

Selected Schools & Teaching Centres

  • Aurora School [Vic.]
    Early intervention and DeafBlind Education programs.
  • Centre for Hearing Impaired - Adelaide High School
    ‘Adelaide High School provides a Centre of Excellence and specialised services for Hearing Impaired students. 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,
    ‘Formed in the mid 1940s by a group of South Australian parents who had children who were deaf or hard of hearing. It was known as the South Australian Oral School to stress the oral approach. It catered for children and their families from diagnosis of deafness to 7+ years old. 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’.
  • Mayfield St Dominic’s Centre for Hearing Impaired
    Catholic Schools Office Maitland-Newcastle. ‘In partnership with families, St Dominic’s Centre for Hearing Impaired Children, Mayfield provides an education of excellence for children who are deaf and hearing impaired’.
  • Schools for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children
    From Aussie Deaf Kids. ‘One of the most important and difficult decision that parents of deaf and hard of hearing children will make. Remember that you know your child and family best. What suits one child and their family may not be right for another. Talk to the professionals, do your research and be well-informed. Children’s needs also change. Don’t be afraid to meet their changing needs’.
  • The Centre of Excellence
    “For Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing”. ’A statewide leader in providing information, research and advice to educational policy makers, and teaching and support staff who work with deaf students in Victoria’. Based at the North Melbourne Institute of TAFE.
  • The Shepherd Centre
    Internationally renowned school for children from 0-6 with hearing difficulty. Dominant oral approach to teaching with partially impaired children.
  • WA Institute for Deaf Education
    ‘Provides a State-wide co-ordinated service for children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Parents are provided with a choice of educational settings, ranging from an inclusive placement in a regular school, through to metropolitan specialist schools that are located in inclusive settings and specifically cater for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children’.

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Hearing Technology

Cued Speech

Hearing Technology

Cochlear Implants

  • Cochlear Implants
    General information, children and cochlear implants, position statements about cochlear implants, what users have to say about them. Multiple links information on each of these.
  • Cochlear Implants Education Centre
    “Navigating a Forest of Information, One Tree at a Time”. 16 sections, 113 pages of information. Getting Started to Resources. Download as a PDF Document.
  • Cochlear Implant Surgery
    Information, further information about cochlear implants and other hearing impairment aspects.
  • The Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre
    Specific information about implants, suitability, resources, recipient stories, information for professionals, research.
  • What is a Cochlear Implant ?
    For teenagers. UK based. From who wears a cochlear implant to how they work, having one, living with one, news, views, links.

Hearing Aids

  • Hearing Aids Prices in Australia - What’s the Deal ?
    Article with a downloadable brochure giving advice about pricing in Australia.
  • Hearing Aids
    Information, links fort everything from batteries to basics, ear moulds to accessories, articles, other information.
  • Hearing Aids 101
    ‘Independent website designed to help consumers learn about the wide variety of hearing aids and related products on the market today. Hearing Aids 101 provides an abundance of information about the latest innovations in hearing aids technology, as well as tips for shopping for hearing and assistive learning devices’. Canadian site, but information still applicable.
  • Hearing aids : How to choose the right one
    ‘Many types of hearing aids exist. So which is best for you ? Find out what to consider when choosing a hearing aid’. Advice from the Mayo clinic.
  • National Hearing Care
    ‘Hearing aids are complicated technical instruments that are tailored to the individual client’s needs. There are many different types and styles of hearing aids available today’.

Other Sites

  • Closed Captioning FAQ
    Questions on everything from an overview to “technical stuff”.
  • HealthyHearing
    ‘Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants, Tinnitus and more. Dedicated to bringing news, information and consumer education’.
  • National Relay Service
    ‘A phone solution for people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment’.
  • Technology Access Program
    ‘Research group focusing on technologies and services that eliminate communication barriers traditionally faced by people who are deaf and hard of hearing. These links lead to papers, references, tutorials, presentation slides, conference proceedings and other information’.

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Resources

Children’s Sites

Sites designed for children of all ages.

  • Futurika
    Lists a range of deaf sites both for children and related to children.
  • OtiKids
    ‘The place where you can read about hearing and hearing loss. You can also read stories written by other children with hearing loss from all over the world - and you can play little games in the Fun with OtiKids section’.
  • Our Stories
    Page on Aussie Deaf Kids where children can tell about themselves and read what others have to say about how they are going and what they are doing.

Hearing Information

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

  • About the Ear
    Anatomy of the ear, sound measurement, causes of hearing loss, related health issues. Each provides links to specific information on other sites.
  • Auditory System and Hearing Impairment Free Lecture Series
    ‘This series of free, interactive lectures has been created by the RIDBC Renwick Centre. It is aimed at anyone looking for an introduction to hearing impairment and the human auditory system. There are eight lectures available to view online or download to your own computer. Each lecture is available in a presentation format with an audio voiceover discussing each slide. In total there are 82 slides and over an hour of audio’.
  • Ear Wax
    Ear wax defined, wax problems, treatment procedures.
  • Hearing Services
    Childhood deafness, Hearing & Balance, cochlear implants, more.
  • How do We Hear ?
    Information, diagram providing overview of how we hear, links.
  • How We Hear
    The first of a series of pages on Hearing Loss. Use the link in the top menu to access the other page.
  • Middle Ear Infection & Grommets
    ‘Infection of the middle ear is the most common cause of temporary hearing loss in children. Middle ear infection is also known as otitis media or glue ear. At any given time one out of every 3 primary school age children will have some form of middle ear condition’.
  • Otitis Externa
    What is it, what happens, how treated, how else can I help this.
  • The Interactive Ear
    Interactive hearing process presentation.
  • Tinnitus FAQs
    ‘General Questions About Tinnitus’.
  • Tinnitus : What Is It ?
    ‘Tinnitus is a physical condition experienced as noises or ringing in the ears or head when no such external physical noise is present. Tinnitus is usually caused by a fault in the hearing system. A symptom, not a disease’.

Parental Involvement, Information & Support

  • Building Blocks
    ‘Kit for parents of newly diagnosed babies. It has been put together by parents of deaf and hearing impaired children. We want you to know that you are not alone. The kit contains a parent to parent guide, a guide for grandparents and a leaflet for friends’. Check their Parents are Important page, for links to other information.
  • Hands & Voices
    ‘US, parent-driven national organisation dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We are non-biased about communication methodologies and believe that families can make the best choices for their child if they have access to good information and support’.
  • Info to Go
    ‘We are pleased to offer you a wealth of information and resources on the educational, linguistic, social, and emotional development of deaf and hard of hearing children’.
  • NSW Parenting
    Not specifically for parents of hearing impaired children. ‘An initiative of the NSW Government, developed by DoCS Centre for Parenting and Research’.
  • Raising Deaf Kids
    ‘Here you’ll find lots of information on raising a deaf or hard-of-hearing child. Click on a link to find the information that fits your needs the best - Can my baby hear ?, My baby has a hearing loss, My child has a hearing loss, My teen has a hearing loss’. Other topics.

Resources

  • AudiologyNet
    ‘Audiology and hearing healthcare informational web site for a large population. Dedicated to providing web site links in audiology for patients, family members, students, and healthcare providers. The information and web links listed at AudiologyNet are intended for informational purposes only and do not substitute for medical consultation with your personal physician or hearing healthcare provider’.
  • Cap That !
    ‘Captions are readily available on many DVDs, television shows and online videos. Find out : How to turn on captions and where to find captioned resources’. Resources available from the site.
  • DeafClub.co.uk
    ‘We are the biggest Deaf Internet resource in the UK providing links to Deaf and Hard of Hearing culture websites’. Many will only be of general interest, others will provide access to resources, groups, more.
  • Deafness Resources Australia
    ‘One of the most comprehensive ranges of deafness and hearing impairment related books in Australia. It also has a very wide range of relevant technology, e.g. amplified listening systems, visual and vibrating alerts’.
  • Deaf Websites
    Extensive listing from around the world. 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. The site aims to provide you with relevant and easy-to-access information. The Resource Directory will assist you to find information that is relevant to each stage of your child’s life’.
  • Deaf Children Australia
    ‘Provides information, advocacy, support services and educational resources that respond to the needs of these children and their families’. Information in age groupings and other directories.
  • Media Access Australia [Captioning]
    ‘Provides information and applies technological solutions to media access issues, including captioning’.

Government Agencies & Bodies

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

  • Australian Hearing
    ‘Dedicated to helping people manage their hearing impairment so they have a better quality of life. 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
    Department of Health & Ageing website. use A-Z index.
  • National Acoustic Laboratories
    ‘Undertakes scientific investigations into hearing, hearing habilitation and rehabilitation, and the prevention of hearing loss. We are the research division of Australian Hearing’.

International Sites

  • Don’t Lose the Music
    ‘Highlights the risks to hearing from loud music in clubs, at gigs and using personal audio equipment - some of the most popular pastimes of the under-30s. Campaign is aimed at 1-30 year olds’. Now part of Action on Hearing Loss group [see International listing in the Associations section above].
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders [NIDCD]
    An American site with a wealth of information. Areas include Health Information covering hearing and other communication disabilities, research information, News &. Events, even an A-Z index to aid your search of the site.
  • Oticon
    Information about hearing, hearing technologies, medical aspects of hearing loss and OtiKids. US site.

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
    By the BBC. Video, message board, latest news, other information. Access to a print version.

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Reference

1. Hearing Impairment - What is Hearing Impairment [HI] ? Education Queensland, 18 Sept. 2007. Web. 10 Jan. 2014. http://education.Qld.gov.au/studentservices/learning/disability/generalinfo/hearing/what-is-hi.html.

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