Deaf & Hearing Impairments


Federal Definition:

R 340.1707(1) Hearing Impairment Explained:  The term "hearing impairment" is a generic term which includes both students who are deaf and those who are hard of hearing and refers to students with any type or degree of hearing loss that interferes with development or adversely affects educational performance. "Deafness" means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification. The term "hard of hearing" refers to students with a hearing impairment who have permanent or fluctuating hearing loss which is less severe than the hearing loss of students who are deaf and which generally permits the use of the auditory channel as the primary means of developing speech and language skills.

National Organizations/Resources

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AGBell)
AGBell is a membership organization and information center focusing specifically on childhood hearing loss, with an emphasis on the auditory approach. Informational materials address questions that parents typically raise, basic information on pediatric hearing loss, and general information on how to best service students with hearing loss in the classroom.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA provides information and resources about communication disorders for students, parents, professionals and others.

The Center for the Study of Communication and the Deaf (CSCD)
CSCD is devoted to both applied and theoretical research to benefit the deaf and their families.

Clerc Educational Center at Gallaudet University
The Clerc Educational Center has been mandated by congress to develop, evaluate and disseminate innovative curricula, instructional techniques and strategies, and materials. The aim of the Center is to improve the quality of education for deaf and hard of hearing children and youth from birth through age 21.

Council for Exceptional Children, Division for Communicative Disabilities and Deafness (DCDD)
DCDD is dedicated to improving the education of children with communicative disabilities or who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The Deaf Resource Library
The Deaf Resource Library is an online collection of reference material and links intended to educate and inform people about Deaf culture.

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID)
RID provides international, national, regional, state and local forums and an organizational structure for the continued growth and development of the professions of interpretation and transliteration of American Sign Language and English.

Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH)
The mission of SHHH is to make the mainstream society more accessible to people who are hard of hearing. SHHH also works to improve the quality of life for people who are hard of hearing through advocacy, education and self-help.