Is There a Link Between Hearing Aid Use, Employment, and Income?

This paper examines hearing aid use by 60 congenitally deaf individuals who attended special education units in South Australia. The study indicates that only one-third to half of deaf adults wore their hearing aids in social situations for speech detection. Just over one-third (n = 22) of the deaf adults involved in this study wore their hearing aids at work and less than half (n = 27) wore their hearing aids at home. Younger deaf adults were more likely to wear their hearing aids in the home than older deaf adults. Younger deaf adults tended to wear their hearing aids more frequently when they were at school if they had perceived their teachers had a positive attitude to deafness.

This study found that there was no statistically significant relationship between wearing hearing aids and employment status. There was also no statistically significant difference in hearing aid use between men and women. The low use of hearing aids could be attributed at least in part to the current Australian policy regarding supply and servicing of hearing aids to congenitally deaf individuals which ceases to be free after the individual reaches 21 years of age.