From Deaf Community

Facts and figures about deafness, NF2 and Deafblindness

One of three chapters authored by Anna in "Working with deaf people – a handbook for health professionals," which she also edited

Facts and figures about deafness, NF2 and Deafblindness

1st November 2009

Chapter Introduction:

Overview of deafness and hearing loss

“The clinical impact of deafness is variable. It may occur at any stage of life, it may impact on the individual’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis and it may or may not be disabling.

Conversational speech can be measures as having a loudness of  approximately 60 decibels (dB). Hearing is considered significantly restricted when the ear cannot interpret or process sounds of 25 dB or more…”

Book Summary:

Long gone are the days when a deaf person is expected to struggle through a healthcare consultation with a health professional who has inadequate deaf awareness. Legislation now dictates that the onus is on the health professional to utilise the right communication skills. Deafness is very common, meaning that health professionals, whatever their specialist area, can expect to encounter a client with deafness or hearing loss on a daily basis. Working with Deaf People is intended for use as a general reference manual, offering practical advice on how to prepare for the consultation with clients who are deaf, deafblind or Deaf (i.e. use sign language as their first language). Information is offered about language, communication and culture; case studies demonstrate how the messages can be applied in practice. Every health professional, medical and nursing student, whatever their discipline and whatever country they work in, should have a copy of this book.

Book Review:

“I’ve worked for 17 years with deaf people and for the first time health professionals have a book that gives them sensible practical advice on working with deaf and deafblind people.” -Steve Powell, CEO, SignHealth, UK


Released in Japanese in 2017.



Middleton A, Neary W, Moller K (2009) Facts and figures about deafness, NF2 and Deafblindness. In: A Middleton (Ed). Working with deaf people – a handbook for health professionals.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 1-28