Hearing Differently: The Impact of Hearing Impairment on Family Life
Hearing loss now strikes one in seven people but how to study the impact of hearing loss on relationships has continually baffled researchers. The authors' personal experience with profound hearing loss and her roles as wife, mother, social worker and counsellor, suggest that the complexities involved might be fruitfully explored by using an intensive and repetitive interviewing technique. This book explores and analyses 150 in-depth interviews with hearing impaired people, including eleven couples in committed relationships where one partner is hearing and the other is hearing impaired. Detailed information was obtained about the way each couple managed conflict, decision making, household chores, communication, and perceived the hearing impairment within their relationship. Five major strands emerge: intimate family relationships, social support networks, communication strategies, the nature of care and recommendations for social policy. By drawing from the fields of family therapy, marital therapy, counselling, family sociology, social policy, psychology, social psychology and linguistics as well as disability and deafness, a new broader and more positive picture emerges. This ground-breaking book is aimed at professionals who would like to work more effectively with deaf and hearing impaired people. Although not a 'How to Cope' book, it will also interest hearing impaired people themselves because of the enormous number of insights offered.