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Compared with the general population, hearing impairments are more common: 

• Approximately 30% have hearing impairment. They can be congenital, or acquired later in life.

• Sensory impairments are much more likely to be unrecognised. Paid carers in particular, under-report sensory impairments.

• Many learning disabilities syndromes have specific associations e.g. sensorineural damage, structural abnormalities of the inner ear.

• Down syndrome, mitochondrial disorders, congenital rubella are especially associated with sensory impairments. Age-related impairments occur earlier in persons with Down syndrome.

• Many can’t self-report age-related hearing impairments.

• Hearing can be assessed even in persons with the most profound learning disabilities.

Last Updated: 06 February 2015