What is hearing impairment (HI)?

A disorder in any part of the auditory system will affect the hearing ability, thus interfering the speech and communication abilities.  A child with hearing thresholds over 25dB HL can be regarded as having HI, which can be classified into five degrees:

  • Mild HI (26 to 40 dB HL)
  • Moderate HI (41 to 55 dB HL)
  • Moderately-severe HI (56 to 70 dB HL)
  • Severe HI (71 to 90 dB HL)
  • Profound HI (over 90 dB HL)


Common characteristics of students with HI:

  • they cannot fully comprehend the conversations when listening to someone speaking softly or conversing in a noisy environment;
  • they may not hear clearly the speakers not directly within sight during classroom discussion;
  • they may find it difficult to listen to audio-clips or watch television programmes without subtitles; and
  • without the hearing aids, they may only hear conversation within close distance and need to rely on lip-reading.


If I suspect that my child might have HI, I should…

…seek medical consultation as soon as possible. When necessary, the professional concerned will refer the students with persistent HI to the Educational Audiology Service Section of the Education Bureau (EDB) for school-based support and relevant follow-up.

After my child is assessed to have HI, I should…

…provide the school with the special educational needs (SEN) information of my child promptly and proactively, including transfer of Audiological Report to the school, so as to facilitate the provision of appropriate support for my child.  I should also maintain communication with the student support team, class teacher and subject teachers in order to understand my child’s learning in school, and discuss appropriate support strategies with them when necessary.


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