What does it mean to be H.O.H.?

Hard of Hearing (HOH)

According to the Web Webster:

“Hard of hearing is the term used to describe a degree of hearing loss ranging from mild to profound for which a person usually receives some benefit from amplification. Most people who are hard of hearing are oralists (communicate by using their voice), although a small number learn sign language. Usually they participate in society by using their residual hearing with hearing aids, speech reading, and assistive devices to facilitate communication.

A hearing loss, whether permanent or fluctuating, adversely affects an individual’s ability to detect and decipher some sounds. Generally, this term describes someone who has a hearing loss, usually mild to severe, but is able to converse by voice on a telephone.

Regardless of the label one decides to use to describe their hearing loss, deafness or hearing loss is decreased or absent ability to perceive auditory information. While some cases of hearing loss are reversible with medical treatment, many lead to a permanent disability. Of vital importance is the age at which the hearing loss occurred, as this may interfere with the acquisition of spoken language. Hearing aids and cochlear implants may alleviate some of the barriers caused by hearing impairment, but are often insufficient.

In short: Hard of Hearing refers to someone who doesn’t hear well. This may be because they were born with a hearing loss or they may have lost some or all of their hearing later in life.

Many hard of hearing people don’t know that they have a hearing loss. Some simply deny it, even though they may know that their hearing is diminished. Some people who are completely deaf may consider themselves hard of hearing. In all, nearly 10% of all people have some level of hearing loss.

Usually hard of hearing people continue to rely on their spoken (or written) language as their primary mode of communication, though some hard of hearing people do use sign language or cued speech as a supplementary support.”