Hearing impairment

What is a hearing impairment? 

A hearing impairment is an umbrella title for divers hearing disorders and varies from hearing impairments to deafness. Ménière disease, and sound sensitivity are also hearing impairments.


  • Hard or soft sounds are not (properly) heard
  • High or low tones are not (properly) heard
  • Sounds are deformed or are not  detected
  • Speech disorder (due to deafness at a young age)
  • Impairment is (often) not visible

Possible obstacles 

  • Students with a hearing impairment very often do not make it known that they have an auditory disability
  • As a rule, they only make this known when they have major problems with their study
  • Difficulties with noise levels, distracting sounds and  acoustics
  • Difficulty with simultaneously lip reading and taking notes
  • Being in danger by not hearing sound signals
  • Social problems; making contact, discussions, acquiring information (is difficult)
  • Communication problems; puns and loose remarks are often not understood
  • Lack of confidence and sometimes distrust
  • Low energy levels as communication requires more effort
  • In educational situations these students have difficulties with the following:
    • Following lectures
    • Working in project groups
    • Oral examinations
    • Auditory course material
    • Work placement/internships


picture of sign language