Health and Hearing — A Way of Eating (Part II)
November 26, 2015
Talking about Hearing Loss this Holiday Season
December 2, 2015

The Minefield of Hearing-Related Terminology

“Deaf,” “deaf,” “hard of hearing,” “hearing impaired”…

There are many words that describe someone with hearing loss. Some of them are used to describe how much you can hear, others elicit positive feelings, and other more negative. Other terms are viewed as politically correct, while unfortunately in some places it’s still common to use words like “deaf and dumb.”

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from terms that belittle people with hearing loss, but there are still situations that we run into that make us think, wow, we still have a long way to go.

So, what do you think? How do you describe hearing loss to your friends, family or people you aren’t that close with? Does it matter?

“The idea behind “hearing impaired” is that we are lesser human beings and must be fixed to function.

Those who suffer (dare I use “suffer”?) from mild to moderate hearing loss do not necessarily identify with the term deaf—a word that is historically loaded and also carries a distinction between capitalized and lowercase “d”. Uppercase “Deaf” reflects a community and a culture of identity, and carries pride similar to that of ethnic and religious groups. Lowercase “deaf” can reflect only severe to profound hearing loss, or hearing loss on the whole, depending who you ask.” – Christina The Name I Call Myself 

Join the discussion about this topic in the comments section!

does-deaf-define-me-aEditor’s note: This post was edited from its original form to represent the views of the new author.

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Jill von Bueren is the editor-in-chief of HearingLikeMe.com. Originally from the U.S., she now resides in Zurich, Switzerland. She has a background in journalism and is currently working on her second novel.
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Jill von Bueren is the editor-in-chief of HearingLikeMe.com. Originally from the U.S., she now resides in Zurich, Switzerland. She has a background in journalism and is currently working on her second novel.
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