Over 5% of the world’s population – 360 million people – has disabling hearing loss (328 million adults and 32 million children). Disabling hearing loss refers to hearing loss greater than 40 decibels (dB) in the better hearing ear in adults and a hearing loss greater than 30 dB in the better hearing ear in children. The majority of people with disabling hearing loss live in low- and middle-income countries.

Approximately one third of people over 65 years of age are affected by disabling hearing loss. The prevalence in this age group is greatest in South Asia, Asia Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa.

Hearing loss and deafness

A person who is not able to hear as well as someone with normal hearing – hearing thresholds of 25 dB or better in both ears – is said to have hearing loss. Hearing loss may be mild, moderate, severe, or profound. It can affect one ear or both ears, and leads to difficulty in hearing conversational speech or loud sounds.

‘Hard of hearing’ refers to people with hearing loss ranging from mild to severe. People who are hard of hearing usually communicate through spoken language and can benefit from hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive devices as well as captioning. People with more significant hearing losses may benefit from cochlear implants.

‘Deaf’ people mostly have profound hearing loss, which implies very little or no hearing. They often use sign language for communication.

Deaf people still have communication difficulties nowadays, even if affordable technologies permits to assist them.

New Technology

An assistive technology is a device that helps a person with hearing loss or a voice, speech, or language disorder to communicate.

With the development of digital and wireless technologies, more and more devices are becoming available to help people with hearing, voice, speech, and language disorders communicate more meaningfully and participate more fully in their daily lives.

Our CRI Lab Summer  School team, « les INCAPTABLES »  has decided to create a prototype of a connected glove in order to recognize gesture from hands signs langage and to translate it to pictures on a smart watch.

Emily, Malèke, Julien are using their skills in Arduino, Android, Movuino project (from CRI), Flexsensors in order to make this glove a reality.

Our first version of glove, « Back to the Senses » is able to recognize 4 signs, and transmit them by Bluetooth, and display them on a smart watch or a smart phone.