Hearing loss may be a genetic condition or occur due to environment, age and/or illness. A hearing loss or hearing impairment mean anything from mild hearing loss to complete deafness.

The needs, choices and possibilities for alternative methods of communication and different types of support devices differ from person-to-person. However, for children growing up with a hearing impairment, most emphasize the importance of meeting other children with hearing loss and getting to know others with similar experiences.

Children born with a hearing loss, or children who lose it in an early age, learn sign language in the same way that hearing children learn to speak; through imitating others. This means that, apart from their local language in speech and writing, they need to be surrounded by sign language also at home, in preschool and at school. In order to communicate with others who don’t know sign language, interpreters play a key role.

Today, many deaf children are supported by an early introduction to Cochlear Implants (CI) which is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to the person. However, even children with CI, often need access to sign language at home, preschool and school, in order to communicate safely in all situations.

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