Accessibility issues and strategies for people with hearing Impairments

According to the Royal National Institute for the Deaf there are an estimated 12 million people with hearing loss greater than 25 dBHL in the UK.

dBHL means Decibels Hearing Level and refers to how loud sounds need to be before you can hear them.

Someone with hearing loss greater than 25 dBHL will only hear sounds which are above 25 decibels in volume.  In the real world this means that they will have difficulty hearing quiet conversations and this will be worsened if they are in places with other background noise (cafes etc).

Someone with hearing loss greater than 70 dBHL will likely require a hearing aid for conversation.

Since digital information is not just restricted to text and images but can be delivered in a number of different ways including audio (either on its own or as part of a video) it’s very important that accessibility strategies are in place for people who may have difficulty hearing audio content.

We will now take a look at the strategies people with hearing impairments can use to access online audio content