Our country has a rich history, and some of this history includes hearing-related facts. Here’s a list of hearing facts about each state.
American author, lecturer, and political activist, Helen Keller, was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. She was the first deaf-blind person who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. One of her very first words was water. It was spelled by Keller’s instructor, Anne Sullivan, with a finger. Sullivan spelled “water” while Keller’s hand was placed below a flowing faucet of water to help her associate the word with the object.
Alaska has a program for deaf navigators. It has several resources and services for Alaskans who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing to advance long-term employment and housing opportunities within the state.
Arizona-born professional swimmer, Marcus Titus, experiences hearing loss. He placed eighth in the Olympic trials and broke many world records as a deaf person.
Bill Clinton, our 42nd President of the U.S., was born in Hope, Arkansas. He was diagnosed with high-frequency hearing loss in 1997 after attending political rallies, listening to loud rock music, and blasts from hunting rifles. This is a good lesson and reminder to wear earplugs or earmuffs when you engage in loud activities.
Actor and native of Santa Monica, Robert Redford, has permanent hearing loss due to an ear infection. Redford has been open about his hearing loss experience.
The quietest town in the U.S. is reportedly Crestone, Colorado. They have a population of 150. It would make a nice and quiet vacation spot.
The American School for the Deaf was the very first school for the Deaf. It was established in 1817. It was founded by Dr. Mason Cogswell, Laurent Clerc, and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. Clerc and Gallaudet later organized Gallaudet University in 1864. Their work influenced changes, improvements, and advancements in education for students with hearing loss.
Delaware Governor, Jack Markell, passed two laws in regards to hearing aid screenings for infants in 2012. The laws are meant to educate families about hearing loss. Families can learn if their child has a hearing loss shortly after they are born.
The soda brand, 7UP, and Martin Garrix, a Dutch DJ, teamed up in Miami, Florida to host a concert for individuals with hearing loss. During the performance, motion and vibrations were utilized to create a sensory experience for audience members who can’t clearly hear the music.
Heather Whitestone, was the first Deaf Miss America. She currently lives in Saint Simons Island, Georgia. She received her first hearing device, a cochlear implant, at age 29 after she lost her sense of hearing when she was 18-months old. She is now a writer and public speaker.
Hawaii was the leading state in hearing healthcare benefits in 2012, which included coverage for hearing aids. The state will also cover your hearing aids and their replacements every 60 months.
The only organization in the state of Idaho that helps those with hearing loss and protects their civil rights is Idaho’s Association for the Deaf. They also host the Miss Deaf Idaho and Miss Deaf Idaho Teen pageants each year.
Ronald Reagan, who was born in Tampico, Illinois, was the first U.S. president to wear hearing aids. He even got a public fitting to reduce the stigma of wearing hearing aids.
Tamika Catchings, a retired professional basketball player who played for Indiana Fever, was born with hearing loss. She is best known for the first-ever quintuple-double, was voted as the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time, and has the most All-Star appearances.
In 1881, Iowa’s Association of the Deaf was founded. This was just one year after the National Association of the Deaf was established.
A gene therapy method to restore hearing by regrowing hair cells located in the inner ear has begun at Kansas State University. This would help the millions of people who have noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
In 1823, the Kentucky School for the Deaf became the first state-supported school for deaf students in the U.S. During the first few years, the administrators at the school believed they might be able to educate all deaf people in the southern and western regions of the U.S. Shortly after they were established, new schools for the deaf were created to accommodate the vast number of deaf students.
Louisiana works to make sure the deaf and hearing-impaired members of their communities are granted access to everything they need. There are accessibility services like hearing aids, interpreters, education, and more which are provided by the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf.
The Deaf Film Festival is the only annual festival in the world that features new films and contemporary videos. They were created by and for deaf communities.
This is the state where most stenographers also produce Real-Time captioning and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation). CART is a speech-to-text interpreting service for the deaf or hard of hearing.
Caption Center, the first caption agency in the U.S., was established in 1972 at the Boston public television station WGBH. They captioned the first broadcast of Julia Child’s The French Chef. Captions are currently used across the globe, thanks to Julia Child.
A non-profit organization in Detroit known as D-PAN develops good quality American Sign Language (ASL) music videos and translates lyrics via ASL. D-PAN has translated John Mayer’s Waiting on the World to Change, Fort Minor’s Where’d You Go?, and Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful.
How does the state of Minnesota currently help millions of people around the world hear better? The world’s leading hearing aid manufacturers, Starkey and ReSound, each have a headquarter in this state. Starkey, established in 1967, is located in Eden Prairie. ReSound, established in 1943, is located in Bloomington.
The most common type of chronic illness in Mississippi is heart disease. Heart disease can lead to hearing loss. Experiencing poor cardiovascular health may contribute to low blood flow in the cochlea. This can lead to problems with hearing. Take care of your overall health, Mississippians, so that you can lower your risks of hearing loss.
The De’VIA art movement was organized by Kansas City, MS native Chuck Baird. This is an aesthetic of d/Deaf Culture. Baird was a student at the Kansas City School for the Deaf.
Montana is known for having the lowest number of audiologists for every 100,000 residents. They are tied with California.
Nebraska has the second-highest number of audiologists for every 100,000 residents. (Colorado is #1)
In 2016, Las Vegas, NV hosted Miss and Mister Deaf International. This is a non-profit organization that helps to “empower, enhance, and support today’s continually growing community of Deaf” people.
29. New Hampshire
New Hampshire native, Laura Bridgman, was the first deaf-blind American child who received a serious education. This was 50 years before Helen Keller. She went to school at the Perkins Institution for the Blind.
30. New Jersey
Out of all 50 states, New Jersey has the lowest d/Deaf/hearing population. It is also home to Joshua McGriff, basketball star and deaf Olympian.
31. New Mexico
The United States Deaf Federation (USDF) is headquartered in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They manage the U.S. in the global Deaflympics, which the U.S. has participated in for more than 70 years.
32. New York
Rochester, New York is where one of the largest deaf communities in America is located. This is where the National Institute for the Deaf, along with the Rochester School for the Deaf attract students to Rochester. This city hosts the Deaf Festival, the only Deaf Rotary Club, and other organizations that are dedicated to helping those with hearing loss.
33. North Carolina
American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, poet, and Jacksonville, North Carolina native, Ryan Adams, is known for his solo career. He released fifteen albums and was a band member of Whiskeytown - an alternative country band. In 2009, Adams was diagnosed with Ménière's disease, which led to his hearing loss. The disease did not stop him from continuing to travel around the globe and play music.
34. North Dakota
Deaf American actress, and North Dakota native, Phyllis Frelich, was awarded Best Actress of 1980 for her Broadway performance in “Children of a Lesser God.” It was also named Best Play of 1980. Fact: Frelich’s parents and nine siblings are also deaf.
In 1880, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) was established in Cincinnati, OH. This is a non-profit organization for Deaf rights that currently has a headquarter in Silver Spring, Maryland. This is the country’s top civil rights organization for the deaf.
Oklahoma City is where the most recent chapter of the National Black Deaf Advocates is held. Claudia Gordon, the first black deaf female attorney to work in the White House, was the Vice President of the National Black Deaf Advocates. This organization was established in 1982 and works to represent the black deaf community in this country.
Aurora, Oregon is where William Fouts House, inventor of the cochlear implant, passed away in 2012. The implant was never patented by House because he did not want to restrict others who were researching the device.
Elena LaQuatra was crowned as Miss Pennsylvania USA in 2016. She is a news reporter, model, and advocate for those with hearing loss. She lost her hearing at age four from bacterial meningitis.
39. Rhode Island
One of the first five-day Pre-Kindergarten - 12 grade is the Rhode Island School for the Deaf (SDSD) that was founded in the U.S. It was also the last deaf school that was founded in the 1800s.
40. South Carolina
Roger Demosthenes O’Kelly was born the same year as Helen Keller (1880). In 1912, he was the second person who received a law degree from Yale University. O’Kelly, like Keller, was also deaf and blind. He spent the rest of his life in South Carolina and passed away there at the age of 82.
41. South Dakota
In 1880, the South Dakota School for the Deaf (SDSD) was established. Their purpose was to educate children who had hearing loss. While providing great education and hearing healthcare services, SDSD is a useful resource that helps families of the deaf and hard of hearing.
Songs for Sound is a charity in Nashville that helps those with hearing loss find the healthcare that they need. They raise awareness on hearing health, aid in providing free hearing tests and services, encourage people to get help for their hearing loss, and advocate for healthy hearing.
In 1994, the first audiology program began at Baylor University in Waco, TX.
In 1910, Nathaniel Baldwin developed the first pair of audio headphones and sold them to the US Navy, after creating the headphones from his kitchen in Utah.
Vermont native, James Denison, was the only deaf delegate (out of 164 hearing delegates) who attended an oral deaf education conference in Milan in 1880. The National Association for the Deaf was founded in the U.S. after Denison attended the conference.
CenturyLink Field, where the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks play, has been reported as the loudest football stadium in the world. The stadium’s architect, Paul Greisemer, stated that the stadium is so loud because of the roof, the closed space, and the materials that were used to build it. If you go to this stadium or any stadium, it’s important to wear earplugs to protect your hearing.
47. Washington D.C.
Abraham Lincoln helped to establish Gallaudet University - a school for the d/Deaf and hard of hearing, making it an official collegiate institution. Today, all current U.S. presidents personally sign each diploma for the graduates.
48. West Virginia
West Virginia has the highest percentage of the deaf/hearing-impaired population in the U.S.
William Hoy, who was the first Deaf major league baseball player, began his career in baseball in Oshkosh. He is known for hitting the second grand slam in history in 1901 and initiated the use of baseball hand signals that are still used to this day.
American inventor, Thomas Edison, lost his hearing at a young age after catching scarlet fever. While in Wyoming, he and a team of scientists, identified the filament that made a lightbulb last for more than 1,200 hours by studying threads from a bamboo fishing pole as they fished on Battle Lake.
If you, or a loved one, live in Lancaster, PA, and need a hearing test and hearing aids, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation. We have offices located in Elizabethtown, Lititz, and Strasburg.
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