The self-reported handicapping effect of hearing disabilities

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This study investigates the extent to which individuals see themselves as being handicapped by a hearing disability. Self-reports were obtained with the Amsterdam Inventory for Auditory Disability and Handicap which distinguishes five basic disabilities: intelligibility in noise, intelligibility in quiet, localization of sounds, distinction of sounds and detection of sounds. Responses of 239 hearing-impaired people with varying types of hearing loss have been examined. The occurrence of the five disabilities in the population as well as the self-reported limiting and annoying effect per disability has been examined. This study shows that the handicapping effects of the disabilities do not have equal weights. Handicap resulting from the inability to understand speech in noise is most strongly felt. This paper argues that the type of disability jointly determines the severity of a person's handicap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-312
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Handicap
  • Hearing
  • Inventory
  • disability

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