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July 1931


Arch Otolaryngol. 1931;14(1):36-47. doi:10.1001/archotol.1931.03580020044007

I have chosen to discuss this subject particularly because there is a general lack of appreciation of its importance. The magnitude of the problem is difficult to estimate, for those afflicted with deafness tend to conceal their defect. No one knows the extent of the world of silence. There are available, however, some statistics that give an idea of the extent to which defects in hearing affect the population.

The United States census for 1920 lists approximately 45,000 deaf-mutes. This figure includes only those who acquired severe deafness before the age of 8 years, since children who lose their hearing after this age do not, as a rule, lose the ability to speak which they have already acquired, and are, therefore, not deaf-mutes. The list of deaf-mutes includes those who have been born deaf and those who acquire their defect before the age of 8 years. There are no accurate figures