@ 2011 Action on Hearing Loss

Hearing loss currently affects more than 10 million people in the UK. It is estimated that by 2031, 14.5 million people will have hearing loss.

 

Hearing loss has significant personal and social costs. What evidence is available indicate poorer physical health among deaf people. Sign Health’s report ‘Why Do You Keep Missing Me?’ (2008) shows that 32% of deaf people find it difficult to explain their health concerns and 35% walk out of an appointment and do not understand what have been told to them. The barriers deaf families encounter include discriminatory health and social support services and limited access to information. Those barriers not only erect restrictions to participation in the normal life of the community, but also place limits on women’s psycho-emotional wellbeing. This being a significant draw back to the research since the ‘Saving Mother’s Lives‘ report (CMACE, 2011) has again identified the links between social exclusion and vulnerability and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

"Pregnancy is all new to me. Deaf people don’t have access to the general community. We can’t just go and talk to our neighbours like hearing people can. So when our daughter was born, my partner was sent home after 6 hours. That was a huge shock! I had to look after the baby while my partner rested. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I had to use Google but everything is in English so I just looked for pictures."

 

A mother from consultation group for Deaf parents