Like all minority groups, Deaf people suffer from stereotyping by many who do not know and understand them.  A number of myths about Deaf people circulate widely in our society and get in the way of understanding between hearing and Deaf people.
MYTH: All hearing losses are the same.

FACT:  The term “deafness” or “hard of hearing” covers a wide range of hearing losses that have very different effects on a person's ability to process sound and understand speech.


MYTH: Hearing aids restore hearing.

FACT:  Hearing aids simply amplify sound.  They have no effect on a person’s ability to process that sound.  In cases where a hearing loss distorts incoming sounds, a hearing aid can do nothing to correct this and may even make the distortion worse.

MYTH: All deaf people can read lips.

FACT: While some deaf people are very skilled lipreaders, 90% of deaf people do not read lips proficiently.  This is because many speech sounds have identical mouth movements and are difficult to discern.  On the average, lipreaders are catching approximately 25-30% accurately.


MYTH: “Deaf & Dumb,” “Deaf Mute” are current terms to describe a person with a hearing loss.

FACT:  These terms are outdated and project a negative connotation of a person with a hearing loss.  “Deaf” is the most common term used to describe a person with a severe to profound hearing loss;  “hard of hearing” is used to describe a person with a mild to moderate hearing loss.


MYTH: Deaf people do not drive.

FACT:  Deaf people drive, shop, work, raise families, pursue hobbies, educational opportunities, and political ideals like any other member of American society.


Source unknown.  For more information: Lorrie Kosinski, Denver Office of Sign Language Services & Resources, 720 913-8487; 720 913-8484 TTY.