Discrimination is common in our world today for all sorts of reasons and hearing loss is no exception. Many people face this every day in both professional and personal settings. Hearing loss is known as the "silent disability" because you cannot see someone's hearing loss the same way you can see a prosthetic leg or someone's vision impairment.
Hearing loss, though not a visible disability, is linked to many other factors that affect the quality of life for individuals. According to the Better Hearing Institute, when we talk of quality of life, healthy hearing per se is not just to enhance aesthetic pleasure of acoustic sounds in a person’s environment. Indeed, hearing loss has been shown to negatively impact nearly every dimension of the human experience including: physical health, emotional and mental health, perceptions of mental acuity, social skills, family relationships, self-esteem not to mention work and school performance.
Most people believe by seeing which makes it difficult to implement "reasonable accommodations" to even the playing field. The same is true in the workplace. Many employees with moderate-profound hearing loss experience up to $35,000 less per year. The Better hearing Institute states, Dr. Bridget Shield, Professor of Acoustics at London South Bank University, has shown that hearing loss is related to unemployment and underemployment. However, the majority of research clearly has focused primarily on people with severe to profound hearing loss.
These are just a few reasons to make sure we take care of our hearing and our overall health. If you suspect you have hearing loss or it's been a while since you had your hearing tested, schedule a hearing test today!
Here's a few interesting and educational resources:
- The Hearing Health Foundation: Assistive Technology & Your Rights.
- Laws, Rules, and Regulations: These laws state that people with hearing loss and deafness have the right to an “even playing field” figuratively and literally speaking.
- How to Manage the Use of Assistive Technology in Athletics