Hearing Loss

What might it feel like to live in a world where you can’t hear sound?

These resources should help you explore this question.

Family Dog Susan Dupor (1991)

Susan was born deaf. She says “As an artist who is Deaf, I am constantly exploring my identity as a Deaf woman.  I have been painting within this theme for the past ten years and my perspective has changed throughout the years. There were moments when I vented my emotions, and others when I wanted to celebrate the uniqueness of Deaf culture and seek the ironies of being Deaf in a hearing world.”

Read more about her work and this picture

Ameslan Prohibited Betty Miller 1972

Take a look at the work Betty Miller who was born hard of hearing to deaf parents, her first language is American Sign Language (ASL). Her 1972 work titled Ameslan Prohibited (Ameslan is an early name for American Sign Language) has become a symbol of the oppression deaf people face when signing. Her black and white drawing depicts a pair of disembodied hands in handcuffs with the fingers severed at several locations.

These deaf artists use mime to share their message about how they feel about being deaf.

Watch the mime ‘message for the hearing world’.

Watch the work of the British Sign Language poet, Richard Carter, Mirror.


lips move in silence
my eyes fill in for my ears
visual hearing

By Wendy Kast, a bilateral cochlear implant user and writer on life and hearing loss.

Deaf Sentence David Lodge

This book is an account of one man’s effort to come to terms with deafness, ageing and mortality, and the comedy and tragedy of human lives.


From his early twenties Beethoven struggled with his hearing, by his forties he was completely deaf. He continued to create works of outstanding musicality and originality, without ever being able to hear a note played. When his famous Symphony No. 9, which includes the Ode to Joy was first performed in public Beethoven only realised how much his music was appreciated by the audience when one of the orchestra turned him around to face the crowd.

Watch and listen to this amazing ‘Flash mob’ performance of Ode to Joy

Updated May 2019