Taralye provides assistance and support on deafness. We can assist you finding out more about deafness by providing access to research, publications and other forums.
Reserach & Facts
- Deafness is a significant condition in newborns. Significant permanent deafness (defined as hearing impairment of more than 40 dB HL in both ears) affects 1 - 1.5 per 1000 live births. This equates to approximately 90 births in Victoria or 250 - 400 births in Australia each year.
- More than 90% of deaf children are born to parents who have normal hearing.
- Significant hearing loss in both ears, if undetected, will impede and can have profound effects on speech, language, and cognitive development and thus emotional and social well being. Hearing loss in one ear and mild hearing impairments can also have significant educational impacts.
- An Infant Hearing Screening Program has operated in Victoria since 2005 (VIHSP). The program is funded and supported by the Department of Human Services.
- As part of VIHSP, infants with identifiable risk factors are also referred for diagnostic audiological assessment. This risk factor referral cohort equates to approximately 10% of live births. Approximately fifty per cent of infants identified with congenital deafness have identifiable risk factors.
- Neonatal hearing screening aims to lower the age of detection of hearing loss so that language outcomes can be maximised. International research indicates that babies whose permanent hearing loss is diagnosed before the age of six months and who receive appropriate and consistent early intervention have significantly better language levels that those children identified after the age of six months.