Monday, January 6, 2014

Katherine Bouton

Katherine Bouton is the author of Shouting Won't Help: Why I--and 50 Million Other Americans--Can't Hear You.

From her conversation with Mark J. Miller at the Barnes & Noble Review:

BNR: What was your biggest surprise in all the research you did for the book?

KB: The biggest surprise was finding out how many people have hearing loss. There's such a stigma associated with hearing loss that people don't want to acknowledge it, with the result that there is not much consciousness of hearing loss in society at large. But tens of millions more people suffer hearing loss than vision loss. Look at how many of us wear glasses! Tens of millions more should also be wearing hearing aids. It's another indication of the stigma of hearing loss, and the denial that accompanies it. This stigma also affects statistics. When I began my research, the accepted figure for those with hearing loss was 36 million. This was the number used by the NIDCD (National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders). Then, about a year into my reporting, Frank Lin at Hopkins published the results of an epidemiological study that set the figure at 48 million. Lin's was a carefully documented study, with hearing loss determined by hearing tests. The NIH is certainly a reliable source. How could there be such a disparity?

Finally after many weeks, I finally got the answer from the NIDCD. Their figures, it turned out, were self-reported cases of hearing loss. As is typical anecdotally, a quarter of those surveyed by the NIDCD denied that they had hearing loss. Most official reports now...[read on]
Visit Katherine Bouton's website and blog, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Katherine Bouton and Maxie.

--Marshal Zeringue