Deaf signers and hearing aids: motivations, access, competency and service effectiveness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study concerns culturally Deaf signers in the UK who use hearing aids and (i) explores motivations for hearing aid use (ii) identifies barriers and facilitators to accessing NHS hearing aid services, (iii) examines cultural competency of hearing aid clinics and (iv) identifies factors influencing effective adult hearing aid service provision.

Design: Online survey in British Sign Language and English that was informed by Deaf service users.

Study sample: 75 Deaf adult BSL users who wear hearing aids and use NHS hearing aid clinics.

Results: No specific reason emerged as outstandingly important for hearing aid use; however, assisting with lipreading (57%) and listening to music (52%) were rated as very/extremely important. Access issues reported were contacting clinics, poor communication with staff and lack of Deaf awareness. To be an effective and culturally competent hearing aid clinic for Deaf signers, a good understanding of Deaf culture and language was most rated as important (87%).

Conclusion: The study is the first that explores hearing aid use and experiences of accessing hearing aid clinics from Deaf signers’ perspectives. Enhancements to clinical practice are required to consider culturally Deaf people’s motivations for hearing aid use and make services more BSL-friendly.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2022


  • British Sign Language
  • access
  • cultural competence
  • hearing aids
  • patient experience


Dive into the research topics of 'Deaf signers and hearing aids: motivations, access, competency and service effectiveness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this