Your Rights as a Person with Hearing Loss

People may experience some hearing loss as they age that could affect their ability to communicate and enjoy life. Hearing loss is the most recognizable age-related disability in older adults. Unfortunately, many adults with hearing loss feel isolated or left out and may choose to avoid participating at all. Hearing loss may also affect access to important information from health care providers or legal professionals.

This factsheet from the ADA National Network explains your rights as a person with hearing loss under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provides an overview of communication access (called “effective communication” in the ADA law) in your community.

Public Access / ADA information

We live in a time of great technological advances. More things are being looped and captioned every day, but there is more work to be done. Check out:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website

ADA materials available free from the U.S. Department of Justice.


United States Department of Justice (DOJ) – Communicating with People who are deaf or hard of hearing. US Department of Justice guidelines for police officers on how to communicate with people with hearing loss.

City of Seattle

The City of Seattle adopted an ordinance on April 15, 2019 that requires televisions in places of public accommodation have captions turned on.  Read that ordinance here.


Captionfish is a free captioned movie search engine. It will give you a listing of all captioned movies within a large geographic area.

Let’s Loop Seattle

Let’s Loop Seattle aims to get loop systems installed in public venues, such as theaters, public meeting rooms, and auditoriums, in order to make access easier for people with telecoils.


The Washington State Communication Access Project (Wash-CAP)

The Washington State Communication Access Project (Wash-CAP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enabling persons with hearing loss/deafness to fully enjoy public venues.  Wash-CAP works to help public venues convert spoken words into real time captions, displayed so all can read them.  We accomplish these goals by working with sports, entertainment, cultural, governmental, and other venues to provide facilities that make it possible for the hard of hearing to share the same experience as the hearing public. Where persuasion fails, we are prepared to compel the venues to provide those facilities.