Deafness is defined as any degree of partial or total hearing loss. The likelihood of deafness increases with age, but deafness is a very serious problem for children as well. The most common cause of deafness in children is otitis media, or an inflammation in the middle ear. Deafness in children can also stem from the mother’s exposure to the rubella virus during pregnancy. If a baby is born deaf, it is known as congenital deafness. Acquired hearing loss, on the other hand, is when an individual develops hearing loss anytime after birth. A variety of factors can lead to acquired hearing loss including genetics, environmental factors, and disease. Many hearing impairments can be improved or eliminated with the help of hearing aids, implants, and other treatments.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) – NIDCD conducts and supports research and research training related to disease prevention and health promotion. It also addresses special biomedical and behavioral problems associated with people who have communication impairments or disorders and supports efforts to create devices which substitute for lost and impaired sensory and communication function.
John Tracy Clinic – John Tracy Clinic provides, worldwide and without charge, parent-centered services to young children with a hearing loss offering families hope, guidance and encouragement.
Raising Deaf Kids – This website, designed by the Deafness and Family Communication Center (DFCC) at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, gives strategies and support for parents raising hard of hearing children.
Deafness Research Foundation – Deafness Research Foundation works to make a lifetime of hearing health possible for all people through quality research and education.
Deaf.com – This website includes conferences, chat rooms, products, and news for hearing impaired individuals.
Deaf Resources – Deaf Resources has a diverse collection of products for deaf children, including sign language books, amplified telephones, signalers, vibrating clocks, and more! From assistive listening devices to sign language CDs, DVDs, books, videos, and novelties, Deaf Resources has a selection of over 1,000 products for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, as well as for children, parents, teachers, students, interpreters and others interested in American Sign Language and Deaf Culture.
Listen-up – This site includes information for everyone, adults and children alike, about all aspects of deafness/hearing loss. It covers everything including free cross stitch patterns for finger spelling, tips on increasing sign language skills, improving hearing aids to be more aesthetically pleasing, tips and information about cochlear implants, legal issues, funding for hearing aids, scholarships, etc.
National Associate of the Deaf – The mission of the National Association of the Deaf is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human and linguistic rights of all deaf Americans.