Defining Disability: Hearing & Vision Loss

Defining Disability: Hearing & Vision Loss

Defining what falls under the category of disability, especially when dealing with insurance companies, is often tricky. At Share Lawyers, we have managed thousands of cases involving the clarification of what legally can be defined as a disability. Within these, hearing and vision loss pose their own unique set of challenges.

Recent statistics show that over one million Canadians suffer from hearing loss. The definition of hearing loss ranges from minor problems to complete deafness. While there are numerous reasons it can occur, the major causes are age-related issues and noise-induced hearing loss. Loss that occurs in youth is overwhelmingly due to damage from noise, and a lack of preventative care when listening to music at a high decibel. Approximately a quarter of the people affected however, experience this condition due to the effects of ageing.

Like hearing loss, problems related to vision range greatly. Some individuals are partially-sighted, which may be considered legally blind, while others are entirely unable to see. Varying examples include low vision that cannot be improved by corrective lenses, loss of central vision due to macular degeneration, partial vision loss due to cataracts, glaucoma or other diseases of the eye, restricted field of vision or sudden periods of vision loss often associated with a chronic illness.

Hearing and vision loss can impact an individual’s ability to work in many industries. Fewer job opportunities may be available because of restricted communication, social withdrawal and limited resources. These factors can have a significant effect on an individual’s life.

As is the case with many medical conditions, access to all areas of work ranges situationally. Some industries are able to accommodate employee’s needs with the help of adaptive technologies such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. Other occupations cannot accommodate these needs, simply based on the nature of the work. As well, the degree of vision and hearing loss may affect the ability to perform tasks differently.

If you or a loved one are unable to work due to hearing- or vision-related issues, we encourage you to begin gathering all relevant proof to support your case – including documentation from your workplace and the medical specialists you are working with. Our team of lawyers are here to help, and we welcome you to reach out to us today.


Has your long-term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We have recently settled cases against Standard Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and much more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.