Tag Archives: deafness

Facts about Deafness


These are some serious facts about deafness. It is downright depressing. We need to educate everyone that their is help for their hearing loss and deafness.  Wow, I guess I must be a success story because I have been gainfully employed my whole working life and I make a very respectful salary.

I have to admit it has not been easy, because the telephone has always been a challenge.  However, I prevailed.  I have a successful career in retail management and I am growing my professional speaking career.  As a result of my sudden deafness 5 years ago, I discovered my life’s purpose is to educate others that we can have fulfilling and rewarding lives in spite of our deafness.

I speak to groups, schools, and corporations about Positive Mental Attitude, Overcoming Adversity, Success, Change, and Hearing loss.  Go to www.susannamdussling.com to book me. 


1. There are 31 million individuals with hearing loss in the United States.

 2. 4,000 children in the United States are born with hearing loss each year. 3. 90% of children with hearing loss are born to normal hearing parents.

4. Parents with normal hearing communicate through speaking, and most do not know how to use sign language to communicate with their deaf child.

5. Deaf education programs in the public schools usually teach some form of sign language in order to communicate with and educate the students. As a result, few deaf students become proficient in the English language.

6. An average reading level of 3rd grade is typical of graduates of deaf education programs in the U.S.

7. 45% of deaf individuals do not graduate from high school and only 5% graduate from college.

8. A small minority of deaf students complete deaf education programs prepared for independence in adulthood; 60% face either unemployment or severe unemployment.

 9. Deaf individuals earn only 50% to 70% of what their hearing peers earn, losing an average of $320,000 in earnings during their lifetime.

10. Over 50% of deaf adults earn less than $25,000 per year.

11. 42% of deaf adults between 18 to 44 years of age are unemployed.

12. Deafness is the most costly single disability in terms of special education costs, averaging $25,000 per year per child, compared to $5,100 for a normally hearing child. 13. The average lifetime cost to society of a child born deaf in terms of medical, educational, and productivity losses is $1,020,000

As always, Have a sunny day.  Susanna

Susanna’s new book:  www.sunnyandhercochlearimplants.com

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My Hearing Loss and Cochlear Implant Story


I was born profoundly deaf with sensorineural (nerve-related deafness) hearing loss.  At the age of 3, I began to wear hearing aids.  My left ear was my hearing ear (I could understand speech and sound in this ear) and my right ear was used predominantly to help me localize sound because I couldn’t understand speech in this year.  I grew up in a hearing world and I was mainstreamed in public schools.  I went on to college and a professional career in retail management.  I encountered many challenges because of my hearing loss; however, I did not let the hearing loss or hearing aids stop me from accomplishing what I had set out to do! And I did succeed in many endeavors with lots of hard work, determination, and a positive attitude.  About 4 years ago, my life took a drastic turn.  I suffered “Sudden Deafness” in my left ear.  Now, I was truly deaf.  I was depressed and miserable.  At the time, I was working in retail management for a leading dept. store chain and I was wondering “how am I going to work?” I worked with people and the public.  I made a decision to obtain a cochlear implant; I figured I did not have anything to lose.  I continued to work, the store cut back my duties and a long six month later, I was implanted with a left CI.  It was not instant success for me.  I hated the CI at first, why? Well, I could not understand anything with it and the noise was unbearable.  I continued to wear it, because I really did not have any other choice.  With lots of listening exercises done on a daily basis, and coping stragedies, I was ultimately able to have success with my left ear CI.  It took about 3 months before sound was clear and speech was understood.   Eventually, I was able to appreciate the CI because it was actually better than my hearing aids. Mind you, I am thankful for the hearing aids! Since I did so well with the Left CI, about a year later, I obtained a right CI.  The rehabilitation process was actually a lot easier.  I guess, because my brain already was trained from the left ear. I can actually understand speech and talk on the phone with my right ear CI, something I was never able to do with my hearing aid.  Life is grand with my personal “surround sound system.” I am very grateful for my cochlear implants.  To me, they are truly the greatest invention and I want to share it with the world!


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