Hearing Impairment refers to the defects occurring to the structure or function of one’s hearing organs, resulting in the loss of ability in sensing certain frequency or lower amplitude of sound. As a result, a person with hearing impairment usually has difficulties in hearing or identifying the sound, which leads to the significant difficulties and limitations in his/her daily life.

Hearing impairment can be divided into two kinds: weak hearing and total deafness. People with weak hearing can use hearing aids to strengthen their weak hearing, but those who are severely defected may not hear clearly even with the hearing aids. However, for people who are totally deaf, even though they may hear to some extent, they cannot communicate with others by means of hearing and must learn or communicate through vision (such as using sign language, writing, lip reading, etc.).

Although students with hearing impairment have difficulties in hearing the sound, they are much less tolerant of noise than ordinary people, especially more vulnerable to noise after wearing hearing aids.

Most students with hearing impairment have good vocal cords; however, as they cannot hear or hear clearly, they have difficulties in learning to produce sound with their vocal cords. Even if they can produce sound, their voice clarity is also poor. Nevertheless, some well-trained hearing impaired students can still use language to communicate effectively.

  • The mother language of some students with hearing impairment is sign language, which differs with other languages in grammar. Therefore, even if they can partly hear or can read lips, they cannot fully understand the spoken dialogue;
  • Since they have difficulties in processing different sources of sound or in reading the lips of a crowd at one time, they may feel extremely difficult when participating in group discussions or activities;
  • Hearing aids can amplify the sound but at the same time the noise as well, which makes it hard for the user to receive clearly the main acoustic information;
  • The difficulties in communication often bring them a sense of loneliness, inferiority and other negative emotions;
  • Due to their anxiety and embarrassment, they are reluctant to seek help or ask for repetition.

How to Help Students with Hearing Impairment