The survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of and attitudes about hearing loss and deafness in Canadian society. It reveals that almost eight in ten of the respondents have worked with or have family or friends with deafness or hearing loss.
David Allen, President and CEO of the Canadian Hearing Society, points out that people with hearing disabilities deal with negative stereotypes on a daily basis. “The survey results indicate that Canadians need to shift their attitudes and perceptions in order to break down those barriers,” he says.
Despite common perceptions, hearing loss does not just affect seniors. The survey reveals that the average age of those experiencing hearing loss is 51. Seven in ten are under age 60.
“Hearing aids are an excellent tool for people with hearing loss,” says Allen. However, the survey indicates that one in five Canadians who claim to have some hearing loss would rather live it than wear a hearing aid. People’s reluctance to wear hearing aids is likely the result of stigmas associating hearing aids with aging and cognitive disabilities. These misperceptions not only limit hearing aid use, but also result in diminished quality of life for those who wear hearing aids and face negative stereotypes.
To confront these misguided beliefs, the Canadian Hearing Society has produced two advertising campaigns: one de-bunks the “deaf and dumb” stereotype and the other, shown here, challenges the misperception that people who wear hearing aids are old, sick and socially disengaged.
For more information, contact the Canadian Hearing Society at (416) 964-9595 (TTY: (416) 964-0023).