Hearing Differences





Stefan experienced a severe illness during childhood. As a result of the illness, Stefan has hearing loss and has cochlear implants that allow him to decipher most speech. Stefan’s hearing loss significantly impacts his lifestyle and the way he accesses information. He is now pursuing a degree online, which he thinks is a good option for him instead of sitting in a classroom with extra sounds and noise that may cause interference for his cochlear implants.

This video demonstrates what it’s like to hear through a cochlear implant.


  • He is able to understand most clear speech due to his cochlear implant and with some lip reading but when there are extra sounds, background noise, or lack of clear audio, it is nearly impossible for him to gather any meaning.
  • Videos do not include synchronous captions so while Stefan may be able to gather some meaning from visuals alone, most points are missed without the additional audio.
  • Anytime audio is central to gathering meaning or giving a message, unless there is also a visual element, the message will be lost on Stefan.


There are a wide variety of levels and types of hearing loss. To explore more visit WebAim Auditory Disabilities.



More questions? Check out the ODEE Resource Center: Accessibility or email ODEEaccessibility@osu.edu.