• There are 11 million people with hearing loss across the UK, that’s around one in six of us.
  • There are 50,000 children with hearing loss in the UK. Around half are born with hearing loss while the other half lose their hearing during childhood.
  • An estimated 900,000 people in the UK have severe or profound hearing loss.
  • It is estimated that there are at least 24,000 people across the UK who use British Sign Language (BSL) as their main language (although there are likely to be more that we don’t know about).
  • Hearing loss can lead to withdrawal from social situations, emotional distress, and depression. Research shows that it increases the risk of loneliness, but only for those who don’t wear hearing aids.
  • Hearing loss can increase the risk of dementia by up to five times, but evidence also suggests that hearing aids may reduce these risks.[1]
  • 70% of people with hearing loss who responded to a survey said that hearing loss sometimes prevented them from fulfilling their potential at work.[2]
  • 35% of business leaders surveyed in a YouGov poll don’t feel confident about employing a person with hearing loss.[3]
  • Nine out of ten respondents said background noise was the biggest problem they face when eating out.[4]
  • 87% people with hearing loss have started to watch a programme on-demand and found that it had no subtitles.[5]
  • Less than 10% of respondents rated the provisions at their local cinema as good or excellent.
  • 5% of respondents said they would visit the cinema more frequently if provisions were improved.
  • 91% of respondents found the number of subtitled screenings in their area inadequate.
  • 61% of respondents felt the staff at their local cinema were not aware of their needs.
  • 64% of respondents felt the marketing of these provisions at their local cinema was inadequate or inconsistent.[6]

[1] Action on Hearing Loss, Facts and Figures 2018
[2] Action on Hearing Loss, Hidden Disadvantage report
[3] Action on Hearing Loss, Working for Change report
[4] Action on Hearing Loss, Speak Easy survey
[5] Action on Hearing Loss, Progress on Pause report
[6] Independent Cinema Office, Developing Deaf Audiences in Your Cinema


Action on Hearing Loss supports and helps people experiencing hearing loss, so they can take back control and live the live they choose.

BDA is the UK’s leading membership organisation and registered charity run by Deaf people for Deaf people. The BDA delivers a range of services to achieve its aims of empowering Deaf people to overcome difficulties that they face on a daily basis.

National Deaf Children’s Society is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for deaf children and young people.

Sense is a national disability charity that supports people with complex communication needs, including those who are deafblind, to be understood, connected and valued.

Deafblind UK supports people with combined sight and hearing loss to live the lives they want.

About Visible Cinema: Films for Deaf & Hard of Hearing audiences