Full life, but in silence

A physical disability such as deafness, in addition to not being able to hear, is extra difficult. Information about deaf people for deaf and hearing people. Because people are often visually oriented and they usually cannot see anything on a deaf person, the disability is not always noticed (e.g. in a shop or cinema). If this is noticed, people are sometimes considered crazy, because the language is spoken in poor language (if this is even possible), speech impairment (=lip reading) was not possible and people therefore do not know what was said, etc. someone is with them, people tend to start talking to that person.


Yet there are many deaf and hearing impaired people in the Netherlands and it is part of our society. It is estimated that there are approximately 20 thousand deaf and hearing impaired people. People with severe hearing loss can partly be helped with a hearing aid, but if you are deaf you have to make do with speech impairment or sign language and fingerspelling.

There are various causes for deafness, such as the hereditary factor, meningitis, viral infection, rubella during pregnancy, accident or noise.

Deaf from birth

In a nice word, this is called prelingually deaf and concerns the group that is deaf from birth or became deaf shortly afterwards (before language came into play). Learning to talk and recognize speech is difficult and takes a lot of energy. But to keep up with society it is almost a must. Perhaps partly because of this, you see deaf people more than average, for people with disabilities, that they draw together. Sign language and fingerspelling are taught to them from an early age and communicate to them as speech to the hearing.

Dovenschap is an organization that stands up for the prelingually deaf. People should have the same opportunities in life as well as the quality of life. The aim is to achieve recognition for the Dutch Sign Language (NGT) and thus recognition for the Dutch deaf community.
The special website of Dovenschap.nl goes into this in more detail.

Sudden and late deafness

Or with a nice word postlingually. This concerns the group that became deaf later in life, or whose hearing gradually deteriorated over a very short period of time. As an adolescent or adult and where the process of language processing has been completed. So people are not used to hearing anything differently than the hearing people around them. This group can best cope by learning speech aberration.

The impact of suddenly becoming deaf is enormous. Life with work, education, family, friends, activities, etc. suddenly comes under pressure due to an event like this. The sudden deafness foundation or Dutch Center for the sudden and late deaf can play a role, answer questions, etc. They also promote research into sudden and late deafness and provide information.

But no matter what is done and no matter how good and necessary one is doing, life in silence remains life in silence.

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