The purpose of this paper was to determine the economic impact of deafness over a 40-year work life. Information provided by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service made it possible to estimate the lifetime earnings of 4,398 deaf adults who had a wide variety of educational backgrounds. Data on the U.S. population as a whole (matched on age and education), extracted from U.S. Bureau of the Census publications, were used for purposes of comparison. Results indicate that the economic cost of deafness is great. Over the course of a lifetime deaf people earn between $356,000 and $609,000 less than their comparably educated hearing counterparts. Overall differences between deaf and hearing persons would be increased further by virtue of the fact that hearing people are more likely to receive some college education, and are thus more likely to enjoy attendant higher salaries. As an afterword, some of the non-economic costs of deafness are noted.
Welsh, W. A. (2019). The Economic Impact of Deafness. JADARA, 24(3). Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/jadara/vol24/iss3/6