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Lansing – An assessment has found that an estimated 7.4% of Michigan residents identify as deaf, blind, deafblind and hard of hearing.

Results of the Not Without Us telephone survey of 3,600 Michigan residents were released Wednesday by the state Civil Rights department. They show about 633,000 people identify as hard of hearing. Nearly 46,000 identify as deaf, while just over 10,000 say they’re deafblind.

State Civil Rights officials wanted to learn about the numbers of deaf, blind, deafblind and hard of hearing residents and how to improve access to government, health care and other parts of civic life.

Annie Urasky, director of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing division in the Civil Rights department, says underestimating the population can “lead to under-resourcing and under-representation throughout Michigan’s public and cultural life.”

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