I just met my new neighbor across the street. They are a couple with two grown children. I found out that he is an audiologist. A hard of hearing audiologist. An audiologist that wears hearing aids.
That got my attention.
I have never heard of a hard of hearing audiologist. But what better person than one who is hard of hearing to be able to understand what their clients are going through?
He told me that roughly 34 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. That doesn't even count those that have NOT been diagnosed.
I decided to search the Internet and see what I could find. It is difficult to find accurate numbers, as these are self reported.
Nearly 10 million people are hard of hearing and close to 1million are functionally deaf. (Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 2005)
Gallaudet Research Institute estimates that as many as 42 million people have some type of "trouble" with their hearing.
Approximately 1 million people are "functionally deaf."
More than half of this number are over 65 years of age.
About 8 million people are hard of hearing.
More than half of these people are over 65 years of age.
Where does that put me? In a group of around 4-5 million people that live in the U.S.A.