Report on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Communication Accessibility for Adults with Hearing Loss

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Two people standing outside communicating through sign language with a clear mask on the face



Recently, the Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility, University of British Columbia (UBC), and Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) collaborated together to collect information from approximately 700 Canadians who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing. They shared their experiences about the impacts of the pandemic on their day-to-day lives and remarked on the impacts of masks on communication, the demand for universal captioning, and the ability to get accessible information and health updates from the government and news/social media outlets on COVID-19.

The findings from the survey on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Communication Accessibility for Adults with Hearing Loss revealed the pandemic has greatly impacted the daily lives of respondents.

Key Findings in The Report from the Wavefront Centre website (

  • More than 80% of individuals with hearing loss found it difficult to understand others with face masks
  • 60% of individuals reported that their mental health has been negatively affected as a result of the pandemic
  • At least one-quarter of individuals with higher severity of hearing loss were unable to obtain hearing health services due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • Only 16% of respondents reported obtaining hearing or hearing aid services remotely from a specialist such as an audiologist or hearing instrument practitioner.
  • Over 60% of respondents reported difficulty in understanding others who are behind plexiglass barriers.
  • At least 60% of respondents indicated that having captioning available would help improve communication with others in video calls and at virtual events

Read the full report at: