Hearing Loss & Driving

Do deaf people drive? And if so – does hearing loss impair driving skills? 

It’s a common misconception that the hearing impaired cannot, or do not, drive. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! Those that are hard of hearing and deaf safely and legally drive all over the world. Every single day.

Today’s estimation is that more than 325 million people all over the world suffer from hearing loss. Hearing loss has a significant impact on many daily activities such as talking on the phone, hearing the doorbell or simply watching TV.

Folks with hearing impairments are more vigilant and rely more on visual observations

Research has shown that the deaf and hard of hearing do not cause more traffic accidents than drivers with normal hearing. There are multiple reasons behind this fact. First, people with hearing impairments are much more vigilant and rely more on their visual observations – they stay more alert to flashing and emergency signals or vibrations much more than the hearing driver.

Furthermore, deaf or hard of hearing drivers are more cautious and find ways to observe the road and traffic in a more concentrated way. Drivers with full hearing tend to compromise their attentiveness with loud music or talking on the phone while driving, thus posing greater hazards on the road since their distractions not only disallow them from hearing what is happening on the roads around them and as they become occupied with other things.

Driving with a hearing loss is not blocked or regulated by law

While driving with any type of hearing loss is not obstructed or regulated by law, anyone with any form of hearing loss has an obligation (just like any other hearing driver) to protect the passengers in the vehicle, as well as other drivers on the road.

How HearMore Helps Drivers with Hearing Issues

HearMore is your source for aids and appliances designed for better and more independent living. We offer an unparalleled selection (with affordable prices!) of products for the deaf and hard of hearing. Our dedicated customer service staff will provide you with information and help that is informed and reliable!

Our HearMore Team is Here to Support You!

Evelyn Glennie: Musical History’s First Solo Percussionist (And, Yes, She’s Deaf!)

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Percussionist and recording artist Evelyn Glennie is almost completely deaf. The first person in musical history to create and build a full-time career as a solo percussionist, Evelyn listens to music with her body, not her ears.

Evelyn listens to music with her body, not her ears

Evelyn Glennie began studying piano at the age eight and, two years later, she began to play the clarinet. By the age of 12, Evelyn lost nearly all of her hearing. Becoming profoundly deaf didn’t isolate Evelyn from the world, though! Instead, her hearing loss gave her an exceptional sensitivity and connection to music, and she began learning and playing percussion.

In secondary school, Evelyn’s music teacher was a kind and sensitive man with patience and great teaching ideas. Once, while she was trying to tune timpani, her music teacher suggested she put her hands flat on the wall to feel the vibrations the tuned interval created. Evelyn has said, “I could feel the vibrations in my hands and lower parts of my legs, so I got the pitch that way. I can also put my fingertips on the edge and feel it that way. There are countless ways of really hearing a particular instrument.”

“There are countless ways of really hearing a particular instrument.”

As one of the world’s most innovative musicians, Evelyn has continuously redefined the expectations of percussion-playing. By combining superior technique, a deep appreciation of the visual, and an astonishing talent for music, Evelyn is famous – and beloved – for performances filled with so much energy and innovation that they almost constitute a new form of musical performance.

Evelyn Glennie is a percussionist of many firsts:

  • First full-time solo percussionist in the world
  • First to perform a percussion concerto at London’s Royal Academy of Music
  • First to give a percussion recital and concerto performance at BBC’s Henry Wood Promenade Concerts
  • First percussionist to be awarded the Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE)

Evelyn Glennie is a percussionist of many firsts

Thanks to her perfect pitch and the fact that she performs barefoot or in stocking feet, Evelyn “hears” the musical vibrations through her body. Together with her lip-reading skills and one-of-a-kind musicianship, she has conquered any preconceived notions of her hearing loss. Furthermore, Evelyn does not consider herself a “deaf musician” (and this fact is never included in her printed concert programs) but rather a musician with a hearing impairment.

Evelyn is the subject of the documentary, Touch the Sound, which explores her unique approach to percussion. Along with her explosive solo career, she has collaborated with musicians that range from classical orchestras to Björk. Evelyn Glennie has performed in concert halls around the world, and has recorded more than a dozen albums, winning a Grammy for her recording of Bartók’s “Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion,” and another for her 2002 collaboration with Bela Fleck. Along with Emmylou Harris, Evelyn was also the recipient of the prestigious Polar Music Prize.

10 Inspiring Deaf Women in History

Deaf women have achieved remarkable things in every field, from politics to art to education and beyond! Meet just 10 of some of the most inspirational deaf women in our history, each having achieved success — and helping to better our world — despite their hearing loss.

1) Marguerite Gachet

Marguerite Gachet, born deaf on October 15, 1868, was a French painter and printmaker. A vitally important figure in both Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, many art critics consider her work to be among that of the greatest artists of her generation. Although Marguerite’s father strongly opposed her wish to attend art school, she applied anyway and won first prize in drawing at a local competition. Her husband encouraged her how to read Braille and to use a hearing aid, allowing for Marguerite’s further artistic expression.

2) Helen Keller

Helen Keller (1880-1968) was born deaf and blind, but that did not stop her from attending college and become a famous activist for women’s suffrage. She also founded several organizations to help those with disabilities. After graduating from Radcliffe College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1904, the inspirational Ms. Keller worked as an author until her death at age 86. Her autobiography, The Story of My Life, has been translated into 50 languages and is still one of the best-selling books ever written. In 1989, President George H. W. Bush awarded her with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously.

3) Marlee Matlin

Actor Marlee Matlin was born deaf and is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). Ms. Matlin has had a long career on both stage and screen. After winning an Oscar for Best Actress in Children of a Lesser God, she starred in numerous other movies and television shows including The West Wing. Her performance on the show earned her an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. In addition to being an actress, Matlin is also an important advocate for deaf children and a spokesperson for Gallaudet University, which focuses on teaching and furthering the independent lives of deaf students.

4) Evelyn Glennie

Born with normal hearing, Ms. Glennie lost her hearing at age 12 due to an illness. It was during her time as a student at Simon Fraser University that she discovered percussion and began using it to explore music and rhythm. From there, she went on to gain fame across Canada and eventually throughout Europe as one of Britain’s most celebrated solo percussion artists. Ms. Glennie was also named Artist of the Year by BBC Scotland in 1997.

5) Juliette Low

Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1860. Ms. Low began losing her hearing when she was 17 years old, and she was almost completely deaf as an adult. Although she was deeply involved with several women’s groups, she found that she missed having something to call her own. So, in 1912, Ms. Low formed what is now known as the Girl Scouts after hearing about a similar organization in England.

6) Shelley Beattie

Shelley Beattie was a professional bodybuilder from South Africa who competed between 1987 and 1991. She was also deaf — but that did not stop her from competing in several world championships. Ms. Beattie won two pro titles at IFBB events in 1989 and 1990.

7) Katie Leclerc

Katie Leclerc is a popular actor and model who achieved fame for her role as Daphne Vasquez on ABC Family’s Switched at Birth. She attended Gallaudet University, a private college that caters specifically to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. In 2015, Ms. Leclerc spoke before Congress alongside the actor Marlee Matlin during the celebration of American Sign Language Day. The actress promotes sign language through her use of it with others and by consistently sharing information about ASL through social media.

8) Lydia Callis

Lydia Callis is known as one of the most famous interpreters in American history. After graduating from Gallaudet University with a degree in interpreting and theater, she worked for over 20 years at The United Nations and was honored by President Obama for her service. She has interpreted many historic moments including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Obama’s inauguration, and even Michael Jackson’s memorial service.

9) Michelle Banks

Michelle Banks is an African American deaf actress. She played many film and television roles, and she was the founder and artistic director of Onyx Theater Company, the first deaf theater oriented toward people of color in the United States. Ms. Banks feels that becoming deaf when she was only a year old has made her more resilient against the discrimination faced by deaf people of color.

10) Linda Bove

You may have never heard the name Linda Bove, but if you grew up watching Sesame Street, you know “Linda the Librarian”! From 1973 to 2013, Linda the Librarian has been introducing, using, and explaining sign language to children on the popular show. Linda Bove also stars in many films and television series, and she has tirelessly advocated for deaf movie and TV characters to be played by actual deaf actors.

The Olympic Volleyball Player Who is Becoming a Role Model for Deaf Children

Image From Wikipedia

Meet David Smith, USA National Team’s one and only deaf Men’s Indoor Olympic volleyball player. Being deaf never stopped this athlete! He overcame adversity, became one of the best volleyball players in the United States, and is quickly becoming an important role model for deaf children everywhere.

Smith was born profoundly deaf, but didn’t let that hold him back from becoming an elite athlete. What’s more, he knows what it’s like to be looked down upon because of his disability. In fact, David was discouraged from getting involved in sports because he was told he would never be able to compete with his hearing peers.

Thanks to hearing aids, nothing could be further than the truth!

Being deaf didn’t stop David from becoming a dominant force on the volleyball court, and it didn’t stop him from winning the Bronze Medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. At just 36 years old, David Smith stands as an inspiration for so many. He has overcome many of the challenges that come along with being a deaf athlete — for example, the inability to hear coaches or other players — but he has turned these obstacles into sources of success. His journey began when he started playing with one of USA Volleyball’s junior national teams at age 12; soon after, he earned a spot on one of USA Volleyball’s adult teams.

Today, the young athlete has dedicated his life to helping others who are also hearing impaired live out their dreams despite facing societal barriers. Smith often shares his story on how he overcame obstacles in order to succeed on the athletic field.

There’s no doubt why David Smith is quickly rising as a role model for deaf children and deaf adults alike! His journey proves that even though there are folks of every age that may struggle with deafness, it doesn’t mean the deaf cannot continue pursuing their goals as long as they keep trying, have confidence and a positive attitude, and most important — never, ever give up on their dreams.