SoundSpace Online

Educational Impact

Hearing loss has an enormous impact on learning and education that is as great, if not greater than, other factors such socio-economic status, language of the home, gender, or other disabilities such as vision impairments. As [26] wrote in a letter to Dr. James Love,

“The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important, than those of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus - the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir and keeps us in the intellectual company of  man.” Helen Keller

This challenge to language development has significant implications for education from the early years through university and college.

Many young deaf children may not have developed the language necessary to participate fully in the activities of the classroom and begin schooling at a decided disadvantage compared to their hearing peers. Even a slight hearing loss can make learning challenging. This slow start can impact progress across the school years, and if appropriate interventions are not put into place, some deaf children never catch up.

Please visit this American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) website page for an overview of effects of hearing loss on devlopment; the impact of hearing loss on language and educational development

This delayed language also makes learning to read and write difficult – and the gap between deaf learners and their hearing age peers often widens as they progress through school.

The goal for all deaf children is support them effectively and appropriately from diagnosis onward to develop language and literacy, and improve educational outcomes. Today’s hearing technologies are transforming their opportunities to do so.