Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Learn what hearing can be like for some people with hearing loss and how multimedia content can be more inclusive of the deaf and hard of hearing.

Understanding Hearing Loss

Meet Mariah

Dena poses for the camera and smiles in her school auditorium.Mariah, 41 years old, Grade School Teacher – Mariah is a teacher at a local school for the deaf and an active member of the deaf community, leading the school’s after-school deaf choir in addition to her regular teaching duties. Mariah lost her hearing at a very young age and American Sign Language has always been her primary language. She sometimes has a hard time following English grammar and idioms or translating all the quirks and nuance of ASL into English.


Exercise: Hearing Loss

This exercise simulates some types of hearing loss. You will hear the same sentence four times. Keep in mind that this is rather simplistic approach because it is “all or nothing”, but it does highlight the difficulties in trying to understand speech when you have a hearing loss.

  1. Double Click on the “Hearing Simulations” icon on the Desktop.
    Screengrab of the Hearing Simulations desktop icon
    Listen to four hearing simulations:

    • Loss of High Frequency
    • Loss of Clarity
    • Loss of Weak Sounds
    • No Hearing Loss
  2. Listen to the “Hearing Simulations” again while looking at the transcript:
    From Emily Dickinson’s poem “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers”

    Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul
    And sings the tune without the words
    And never stops
    at all

Exercise: Captions

Watch a video with and without captions.

  1. Double Click on the “First Video” icon on the Desktop.Screengrab of the desktop icon for the first video.
    What is the topic of this video?
  2. Double Click on the “Second Video” icon on the Desktop.Screengrab of the desktop icon for the 2nd video.
  3. Compare your experiences with and without captions. How important are captions to understand this video?


Return to the list of Awareness Lab Stations