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Working with people who are deaf or hard of hearing - Information page

Only very few deaf people have no residual hearing at all. Even those with a severe hearing loss can pick up certain ranges of sound via hearing aids or other equipment. However, hearing aids do not restore the full range of hearing, and some deaf people choose not to use them.

Many deaf people have been exposed to some sort of oral/aural education in which speech development was of primary importance. Those with a mild to severe hearing loss and those who have become deaf later in life are very likely to be able to communicate effectively via speech.

Sign language is most likely to be used by people with a moderate to profound hearing loss, with Auslan being considered their preferred first language. Those with a mild hearing loss and those who have lost hearing over time are most likely to prefer the use of a spoken language.

Although lip reading is a skill that many deaf people employ, it should be noted that it is not an accurate means of deciphering speech, as about 60% of lip reading is guesswork. It is a skill that some people may not be able to master.

For further information contact Vicdeaf website

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