Growing up with moderate hearing loss, Senthil Srinivasan struggled with feelings of isolation. Rather than let his hearing loss close him off from the people around him, he decided to open up about his experiences on the Web. In 2008, Srinivasan founded DeafandHoH under the name “I Am Hearing Impaired”. With the launch of a weekly Open Chat Night the following year, DeafandHoH transformed into a community website, a place where people of all ages and levels of hearing loss could network, share experiences, and learn from one another in a safe environment free from communication barriers.
DeafandHoH grew to encompass not only the website and chat room, but also a blog, an online forum, and a growing social media presence. In 2008, DeafandHoH started a Facebook group that grew from 30 members the first year to over 550 members by 2012 and to over 10,000 members by 2018.
In the spring of 2011, DeafandHoH began recruiting college interns to help create and edit content, aggregate news stories, and market the site’s services. That year, the DeafandHoH team began creating national directories of audiologists and schools for the deaf and hard of hearing.
The next year DeafandHoH added more features. DeafandHoH circulated its first quarterly newsletter Community Happenings and launched DeafandHoH Comics, featuring the series “Huh?” by Michael Yakutis and Marisa Brenizer. That year also saw the launch of a YouTube series, a Featured Member of the Month series, and a web and graphic design service for hearing care professionals.
The mission of DeafandHoH is to empower the hearing loss community by promoting confident social interaction and open communication.