Registered Charity no. 218341  |   Telephone: 01872 225 868


Registered Charity no. 218341  |  01872 225 868  |


Deafness, the hidden disability

Who we were

The history of Hearing Loss Cornwall

Hearing Loss Cornwall is a small Cornish charity which has been in existence for more than 80 years. Founded on 2nd June 1931, by the Right Honourable Viscount Clifden and a committee comprising Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, it was then known as the ‘County of Cornwall Association for the Deaf and Dumb and Hard of Hearing’.

In 1933 it produced its first report which began: “In putting forth their first Report and Statement of Accounts, the Committee of the Cornwall Association for the Deaf and Dumb do so with mingled feelings of regret, wonder, and satisfaction.

Regret, that the things which are being attempted were not taken in hand a generation or more ago. Wonder, that the needs of the Deaf should for so long have been allowed to be passed over unnoticed and that the age-long inertia and unwillingness to take action are so quickly being overcome. Satisfaction, and a sense of pride that this Committee are succeeding in their efforts which are being deeply appreciated by the deaf and dumb people themselves.”

In 1973 John Pearce, Honorary Secretary of the Cornwall Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, wrote: “A terrible tragedy of defective hearing is that it induces in its waggish witnesses a fluent flippancy or a condition of critical incredulity. In thirty years of association with work for the blind, I have only once seen a woman put out her tongue at a man to test his lack of sight; yet over the same period I have almost constantly heard it said that the deaf hear clearly what they are not wanted to hear. There’s none so deaf as those that won’t hear, they say; no one says ‘There’s none so halt as those who won't walk!”

In 1981 the Charity Commission officially approved the name ‘Cornwall Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’. And over the years, the shorter working title of The Cornwall Deaf Association was adopted.

Since its founding the Association has witnessed immense change in both the needs of deaf and hard of hearing people, and the legislative and funding landscape in which it operates. And yet the vision of the charity has held steadfast in its aim - ‘to improve the lives of adults and young people with all degrees of hearing loss through information, support, awareness and communication’.

It is this inclusivity of purpose that ensures the Association is as needed and relevant today as it was 80 years ago. Now known as Hearing Loss Cornwall, this small Cornish charity works tirelessly to ensure that people who are deaf or live with hearing loss can remain an active and valued part of their community.

"If your reflex is everyone feels lonely sometimes, you would be right. But you would also be understating the loneliness we feel."

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