35 misconceptions about being deaf or hard of hearing

Hearing loss is no joke

Here are some misconceptions about deafness, deafblindness, and communication that we have come across in our training courses.  Some of them may be obvious, others not.  If you can answer all of these, then congratulations – you are halfway to becoming deaf aware and knowledgeable about deafness.  If not, then perhaps it would be a good idea to come and find out more on a training course with 121 Captions to learn what deafness really means. After all, 10 million people in the UK and 360 million people in the world struggle with some degree of hearing loss.

Test your assumptions about hearing loss

The most common misconceptions are highlighted in bold.

  1. All people with a hearing loss use sign language
  2. A hearing aid makes you hear normally, all deaf people have one – or a cochlear implant
  3. Deaf people cannot speak or speak funny
  4. A cochlear implant restores hearing
  5. All people with a hearing loss lipread
  6. All deaf people use interpreters
  7. There are no deafblind people round here
  8. Deafblind people can’t get out and about
  9. Deafblind people cannot communicate, deafblindness means you cannot see or hear at all
  10. Presbyacusis only affects older people
  11. Everyone with a hearing loss can use a telephone with a hearing aid or cochlear implant
  12. A loop system is suitable for all people with a hearing loss who do not sign
  13. Hearing Dogs can respond to all noises
  14. Hard of hearing people are all old
  15. Hard of hearing people do not have the same problems as deaf people
  16. A person with a hearing loss will understand you better if you shout
  17. I don’t need to make my business accessible – I have no deaf customers
  18. Deaf people don’t want to talk to me, I couldn’t communicate with them anyway, I would have to learn sign language to do so.
  19. A hearing aid user or a cochlear implant user can hear me if I shout their name across a crowded room
  20. Hearing impaired people only hear (or see)  what they want to” hear”, I think they’re pretending not to understand me
  21. You must use simple English when talking to a person with hearing loss
  22. A sign language user cannot read subtitles
  23. Deafblind people cannot go out by themselves
  24. Deaf people do not lose any more hearing
  25. People with hearing loss are not allowed to drive
  26. Deaf people are not as intelligent as hearing people
  27. All people with hearing loss want to be hearing
  28. Most deaf people have deaf parents
  29. All hearing impaired people can communicate with each other
  30. All hearing impaired people understand deaf culture
  31. BSL (British Sign language) is the same as ASL (American Sign Language) and AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language).
  32. Sign language is a collection of gestures similar to mime
  33. Sign language users do not have cochlear implants
  34. People with a hearing loss bring their own interpreters with them
  35. Deafness won’t happen to me.

To find out more about our bespoke training courses, contact us.

1 reply
  1. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    I would add…
    36. Hard of hearing people will understand you better if you shout. After all, if someone is hard of hearing or not completely deaf, you just need to speak to them loudly and they will be able to understand what you’re saying, right?


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