When is a hearing loss an impairment, a handicap, or a disability? What is the difference between impairment, handicap, and disability? When is monetary compensation due if the hearing loss has been caused by military or industrial noise? These problems were discussed at the October, 1963, meeting of a symposium sponsored by the National Research Council-Armed Forces Committee on Hearing and Bio Acoustics (CHABA), which was chaired by Hallowell Davis.Many things were discussed, but Dr. Davis tried to bring some order out of chaos by proposing that hearing "impairment" be considered the least noxious descriptor and be used to define a "defective function." He then defined a hearing "handicap" as being sufficient to "reduce one's efficiency in daily living" or put one at a social disadvantage. And he defined a hearing "disability" as the most noxious and sufficient "to reduce one's earning power."Whether compensation was payable
WEBSTER JC. Important Frequencies In Noise-Masked Speech. Arch Otolaryngol. 1964;80(5):494–504. doi:10.1001/archotol.1964.00750040508005
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