GN launches The New Norm – a stigma-busting image bank that challenges misperceptions about hearing loss and hearing aids

A Media Snippet accompanying this announcement is available by clicking on this link.

  • Globally, 4 out of 5 people who need hearing aids don't wear them, leaving an estimated 344 million people missing out on the sounds of life, communicating and socializing.1
  • Rooted in outdated misperceptions and societal stereotypes, the reluctance to wear hearing aids is often reinforced by a visually driven bias of how hearing aids are typically portrayed in images shown in the media.
  • On World Hearing Day, GN is launching a stigma-busting photography campaign showcasing real people with hearing loss – from world-class athletes to award-winning musicians – wearing their modern-day hearing aids.

BALLERUP, Denmark, March 03, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today GN launches The New Norm, a campaign aiming to tackle the visual misperception people have of modern hearing aids, which contributes to the high level of untreated hearing loss.

Globally, an estimated 344 million people with hearing loss don’t wear a hearing aid, causing them to miss out on the sounds of life, communicating, socializing, and potentially even compromising their future health.1 Misperceptions around the appearance of hearing aids is a key contributing factor that discourages and delays people from addressing their hearing loss.

Until now, the images of people wearing hearing aids available to media and others to use in their reports have been limited, often outdated and almost exclusively feature older people wearing hearing aids that are obsolete. In response, GN, a global leader in hearing technology, worked with photographer Gala Ricote (who has worn hearing aids for over 20 years) to photograph six inspiring hearing aid wearers. The result is a striking, perception-shifting collection of free images that GN hopes will help replace use of outdated and stereotypical imagery.

The New Norm image bank provides access to free, high-quality images that represent the modern era of hearing aids and celebrates life with hearing loss. Ranging from close-up in-ear shots displaying the latest hearing technology, to fun lifestyle imagery showing real life achievements, the image bank provides a wider selection of positive and representative images for media, academia, non-profits and others reporting on hearing loss.

The new collection of images goes live on World Hearing Day, an initiative from the World Health Organization (WHO), which this year is focusing on changing societal mindsets. The photos feature Welsh Paralympic athlete Olivia Breen, Amsterdam-based comedian Lara Ricote, UK singer-songwriter James Page aka Sivu, New York DJ Julie Slavin known as DJ Hesta Prynn, US historian and author Jaipreet Virdi and musician Jacob Kulick from Nashville. The group has come together to tackle societal misperceptions and share their own personal journey of living with hearing loss and the challenges they have faced.

Author and historian Dr Jaipreet Virdi shares, “At the age of four, my world went silent as a severe case of meningitis left me with hearing loss. I wasn’t quite deaf enough for the Deaf community or quite hearing enough for “normal” society. I’ve been through multiple hearing aid innovations over the years and have experienced first-hand societal stereotypes that at times made me question whether I should wear my hearing aids or not. Expanding the breadth of hearing aid design and showing real innovation through the new images as part of this campaign opens possibilities for imagining how fashion, style and technology can merge to celebrate, rather than diminish, deaf identity.”

Photographer and life-long hearing aid wearer Gala Ricote explains: “As someone who has worn hearing aids since I was young, this campaign from GN is so important to me. I have seen first-hand the advances in hearing aid technology and style change over the years, but the visual representation of hearing aids and what people with hearing loss can achieve has never evolved. People’s perception is stuck in the past. Nowadays it’s hard to spot hearing aids on people so most people just don’t see what the technology looks like, and instead are stuck with an image of what a hearing aid looked like decades ago. Images can be so powerful, I have been able to capture the beauty and diversity of different people proudly wearing their hearing aids, and hopefully helped to create a more positive narrative about hearing loss.”

The varied collection of beautiful and empowering images is available for free download from Unsplash. The images can be easily sourced on the website when searching for ‘hearing loss’ and ‘hearing aids’.

Aysel Cengiz, Global PR & Communications Director at GN, says, Until now, image banks have been loaded with outdated imagery of hearing aids. These images inevitably end up in media and in culture and are fuelling the misperceptions which have contributed to over 300 million people1 with hearing loss avoiding getting a hearing aid. We wanted to create a bank of images that reflected the reality of hearing technology today, real people wearing their own hearing aids and shot by a photographer who also wears hearing aids. The response we had when asking people to take part was overwhelmingly positive, they want to show the world what hearing aids really look like.”

Globally, over 80% of ear and hearing care needs remain unmet,1 and hearing loss is now recognized to potentially be the biggest modifiable risk factor for dementia2 and impacts other areas including work and lifestyle. Latest research from GN revealed that 45% of those aged 40 to 49 have noticed changes to their hearing, yet less than 10% of people in that age range wear hearing aids.3 While some may not yet require hearing aids, the findings reflect an urgent need to normalize hearing aid wearing at younger ages.

Through this campaign, GN aims to build the largest and most diverse modern image bank of people wearing hearing aids to change the visual perception of people living with hearing loss and foster an environment where wearing hearing aids is seen as a symbol of empowerment and an integral part of enjoying life on a longer timeline.

For further information visit  

For further information, please contact:

Press and the media

Aysel Cengiz
Director, Global PR & Communications
Tel: +45 2894 1821
Steen Frentz Laursen
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Tel: +45 45 75 07 21


About GN
GN brings people closer through our leading intelligent hearing, audio, video, and gaming solutions. Inspired by people and driven by innovation, we deliver technology that enhances the senses of hearing and sight. We help people with hearing loss overcome real-life challenges, improve communication and collaboration for businesses, and provide great experiences for audio and gaming enthusiasts.

GN was founded more than 150 years ago with a vision to connect the world. Today, inspired by our strong heritage, GN touches more lives than ever with our unique expertise and the broadest portfolio of products and services in our history – bringing people closer to what is important to them. We market our solutions with the brands Jabra, ReSound, SteelSeries, Beltone, Interton, BlueParrott, Danavox, and FalCom in 100 countries. Founded in 1869, GN Group employs more than 7,500 people and is listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (GN.CO). Visit our homepage and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and X.


1 Deafness and hearing loss. World Health Organization (2022).
2 Livingston G, Huntley J et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. 396(10248):413-446. Available at: . [Last accessed: February 2024].
3 Survey of 14,000 participants across 7 countries including; US, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Japan and China, 2023