A hearing impairment signifies a full or partial loss of the ability to detect or discriminate sounds due to an abnormality associated with the physiology, anatomy or function of the ear. A hearing impairment can be described in terms of the degree of a hearing impairment, ranging from a mild hearing impairment to a profound hearing impairment, and type of hearing impairment - permanent [sensori-neural], not permanent [conductive] or a combination of both [mixed loss]. A student with hearing impairment may use speech and/or sign to communicate. Some students who use sign prefer to be referred to as Deaf as they identify with the unique culture of the Deaf Community and perceive their deafness as a difference, not a disability. 1
As indicated on the Special Education home page, inclusion is a preferred educational option wherever this is possible and every effort is usually 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 to use 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.
- 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’.
- ACE Captioned Telephony Fact Sheet
- ACE Video Relay Service Fact Sheet
Also a Word Version of this.
- 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. CapTel users can listen to the caller, and can also read written captions during the call’.
- 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.
- Deaf Can:Do
The Royal South Australian Deaf Society and also the related Can:Do Hearing.
- Deaf Services Queensland
- Deaf Society of NSW
One important aspect is an amazing list of links to Deaf-related Service Organisations. Accessed alphabetically.
The Tasmanian Deaf Society.
The Victorian Deaf Society.
The West Australian Deaf Society.
- Parents of Deaf Children
‘Based in NSW and dedicated to supporting parents of deaf children. PODC aims to provide families with independent and unbiased information and support’.
- 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.
Sites covering education and schooling. 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.
- Hearing Impairment
A learning community from Education Queensland, The Learning Place.
- Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
‘Integrating and coordinating basic and applied research relating to individuals who are deaf, including cultural, developmental, linguistic, and educational topics’. Abstracts, Tables of Contents, some full text, some PDF.
- 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.
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’. You can download a Brochure about the Institute here.
- Cued Speech Information Online Packet
From the centre for the Study of learning. Provides background, information and links to several articles.
- Cued Speech Learning
Beginners, the mechanics, online games, quizzes, flicks and making practice fun. Their Cued Speech Resources pages has a range of links, including international sources of information and resources.
- Gaining Cued Speech Proficiency
Online text. Revised in 1997 from an original created in the 1980s.
Includes areas such as Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants and other specialised equipment.
- Cochlear Implants
‘Information Sheet, one of a series on resources for deaf/hearing impaired students’. Education Queensland.
- 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 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’.
- Closed Captioning FAQ
Questions on everything from an overview to technical stuff.
‘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’.
Sites designed for children of all ages, rather than adults and professionals.
Lists a range of deaf sites both for children and related to children.
‘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.
Information on ears as well as 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. From Grayson-Riley Audiology
- Middle Ear Infection &
‘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
Support for parents as well as providing them with information and assistance.
- 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.
‘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’.
Australian links for the Deaf and hearing impaired community. Some international links.
- 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.
‘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.
Information on ways in which Telstra can help people with disabilities.
Resources for Professionals
- Students With Disabilities
‘Provides information, resources and support to facilitate appropriate educational provision for students with disabilities’.
- Teaching & Assessment Strategies for Deaf and Hearing Impaired
Fact Sheet covering this area from ADCET.
- Teaching Strategies for Students with a Hearing
‘These guidelines may be useful to teachers and students when working together to accommodate hearing impairments or deafness. This information is available to download in a word document - Strategies to help students with a Hearing Impairment’. Swinburne University. A second university level site can be found at Students Who Are Deaf or Have a Hearing Disability [The University of Sydney].
- Teaching Students With Sensory Impairments, Strategies for
‘The result of an international, collaborative effort among educators in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, who work with students with vision or hearing impairments’.
- 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.
- Deaf Education Network
‘Connecting deaf and hearing people with education, interpreting and equality’. NSW. Provides Auslan interpreting, workplace training, courses, awareness training, latest news.
- Media Access Australia [Captioning]
‘Provides information and applies technological solutions to media access issues, including captioning’.
Government Agencies & Bodies
This includes those at both state and federal level and includes both agencies and government-related groups.
‘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’.
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
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.
Information about hearing, hearing technologies, medical aspects of hearing loss and OtiKids. US site.
Magazines & Journals
Includes both online and print versions.
- American Annals of the Deaf
‘Professional journal dedicated to quality in education and related services for deaf or hard of hearing children and adults. The Annals is the oldest and most widely read English-language journal dealing with deafness and the education of deaf persons’. Abstracts provided.
- 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.
1. Hearing Impairment - What is Hearing Impairment [HI] ? Education Queensland, 18 Sept. 2007. Web. 20 Jan. 2010. http://education.Qld.gov.au/studentservices/learning/disability/generalinfo/hearing/what-is-hi.html.