Our mission is to help YOU to improve the futures of children who are hard of hearing or deaf.
How? 1) Information Resources for Parents and Professionals, 2) Bi-Monthly Updates on Relevant Topics, 3) Professional Development, 4) Teacher Tools Membership Networking, 5) Products selected to improve student outcomes, 6) Information on Advocating for Appropriate Services
This is a ‘go-to’ site for professionals and family members seeking more information about the learning and social issues of children with hearing loss* and what you can do to better support the future success of these children. SSCHL Summary
Professional Resource Topics Check out the February 2017 Conference info!
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Why do we use ‘children with hearing loss’ rather than ‘deaf and hard of hearing’? There are differing opinions that have changed over time regarding how to refer to the population of persons with hearing loss. The term “children with hearing loss” was purposely selected. The terms “Deaf” and “hard of hearing” do not necessarily coincide with audiometric hearing thresholds. As children enter adolescence who have functioned as hard of hearing there are a significant number who choose to identify with the Deaf community. The terms “Deaf” and “hard of hearing” relate to ‘personal identity’ and reflect cultural preferences. It is up to the individual to define their own identity. Research from 2003 indicated that 56% of hard of hearing teens (11, 13, 15 years) identify themselves as having a “hearing problem” and not as having a disability (hard of hearing or hearing impaired). For these children, the preference is to be identified as neither Deaf nor hard of hearing. Also, families of children who are early identified and receive early amplification and intervention are increasingly choosing listening and speaking as the preferred communication modality they use with their child (over 90% in some places). With this in mind, it is reasonable to assume that the numbers of children who do not identify themselves as either deaf or hard of hearing will increase. The choice of “children with hearing loss” for this website is not meant as a slight to the Deaf community who feel that they have experienced no ‘loss’ nor is it meant to reinforce a medical approach to ‘fixing’ persons with hearing loss. In view of the phenomenon of increasing numbers of children identifying themselves only as persons with a ‘hearing problem’ and in recognition that the terms Deaf and hard of hearing are personal identity and cultural choices, it is a sign of respect for this personal choice that the term “children with hearing loss” is used throughout this website.
Kent, B. (2003). Identity issues for hard of hearing adolescents aged 11, 13 and 15 in mainstream setting. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 8(3), 315-324.