There are two types of sensory disability, namely visual and hearing impairments.
Hearing impairment refer to the partial or complete loss in one or both ears. There are 3 main types of hearing loss – conductive, sensorineural, and mixed hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss largely affects the external ear, and results in the reduction of sound intensity, or “loudness”.
Sensorineural hearing loss affects the inner ear, and while it also reduces sound intensity, it also introduces an element of distortion, which results in muffled sounds even when they are loud enough. A helpful analogy is when a person tunes into a radio station (e.g. 98.7 FM), but tunes in at the frequency of 98.5 FM. Though the volume may be very loud, the sounds are muffled and not easily comprehended.
Mixed hearing loss is the combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
Visual impairment refers to significant visual loss that cannot be corrected by means of the use of optical lenses, medication or operation. There are also varying degrees of visual impairment. Some people have low vision, others have tunnel vision in which their peripheral vision may be affected, while others experience complete blindness.