One survey puts the number of hearing Impaired in India as 4.482 million people (Source: Javed Abidi, Secretary-General, Disabled Peoples' International in India). (Other sources quote many times this figure.)
Even assuming there are close to five million people with some level of speech/hearing impairment, we find the coping mechanism woefully inadequate. There are several barriers to making the hearing impaired self sufficient. Social attitudes, gender bias, rural urban divide, lack of adequate facilities for schooling and difficulty in integration into society. The cost and effort required for basic healthcare for hearing impaired is also high.
In the face of inadequate facilities, lack of proper guidance, lack of access to the best available care the family has to be highly motivated in helping the hearing impaired. Improved technical devices such as digital hearing aids and cochlear implants as well as new methods of audiometric evaluation are playing a positive role in the rehabilitation of the deaf. Therapy today is oriented towards early screening and auditory training in an attempt at closing the gap between the hearing impaired and normal people. Despite the odds, it is possible to give the hearing impaired a chance to cope with their immediate environment. Awareness is a key factor in the process.
This section hopes to provide information on the possible causes, current treatment options and facilities available in India for the Hearing Impaired.