It Time for Audiology Report to Update
This post thread is base on the old post thread title called "HOH or Deaf?" post by mbrek. This once again was an interesting discussion. Whether we are Hard of Hearing (HOH) or Deaf. This still can be a hard judgment for those who began to experiencing about their low hearing level when they aren't tone Deaf. As it is easy for those who are tone Deaf to identify themselves simply as Deaf. I have experienced this hardship wondering whether I am Deaf or HOH in my life times too.
It took me about 35 years to finally open my eye and recognize myself as whether I am Deaf or HOH. I did not have a strong opportunity to experience the real Deaf community that are surrounded by numbers. Like NTID community or Gallaudet community. I grew up where the deaf population in Western Massachusetts in a certain age group were soo small to form a Deaf community. There weren't enough Deaf social events. The school I came from wasn't really a Deaf School to me and every student I know in school that a time live far apart in different town while I was the farthest one who live about 35 miles away from school. The school I went to do not have a dorm.
Once I went to NTID for about almost 3 years, I attend to a Deaf Culture class and did learn little better about the Deaf life. After college, I still had this troubling mind about whether I am Deaf or not. Because of how poorly social life I was not able get in enough to feel like one of them. At the same time, I also had this same feeling in the hearing social life as well. I always felt completely lost and felt that I was in the wrong Deaf-hood and hearing-hood. This all got me mixed up poor lifestyle.
Another reason why I have this troubling mind. It was about my inner disabled ears. The Authority of the Social Security Act; Social Security Administration would determine that I am not disabled Deaf? I find that straightly, because most hearing people would label Deaf people as disabled but not for SSA?
Here why, the Social Security Act has their own set of rule about communicating level by word recognition other than how much hearing I have while wearing my hearing aids. They say that when a hearing loss person wearing their hearing aids can recognize and understand the speaking words by over 60% is concerned not disabled Deaf. According to an audiologist, my word recognition for my right ear is up to 60%, while my left worse ear is at 4% words recognition. So this Social Security Administration determined how I am to be labeled “NOT DEAF” because of how much word I can recognize? That is soo confusion, my inner ears life just got better or worse? This bought me another wonder, how dose that apply to lip reader?
The problem is, I never had this so-called hearing lost as I have never got into an accident or illness which would cause my hearing, hearing lost? Yet, I still having trouble communicated with the hearing people? Since my left ear brings down my 60% word recognition right ear to about 56% together, that still tells me that I still am having trouble communicate with hearing people. This is one of the subject I began to realize that I am truly a Deaf man, whether I have a 10%, 20% or 50% hearing level in both ears or how this 56% words recognition is still not perfectly a hearing ear! So this, I do have both disabled inner ears. I was born with this disabled inner hearing ear. Plus, how I have been attending to a Deaf school throughout my education years with my sign language communicate skills?
So my advise for those who are not tone Deaf person, look into the Deaf culture education and see if you are one of the DEAF. By analyzing yourselves more about your inner ears life experiencing. This I believe will gave us a greater chance to discover and identify who we are and where do we belong. To be able to recognize themselves better before describing and/or labeling themselves as Deaf or HOH. Being hard of hearing is no big difference for a tone Deaf person while it is for the hearing person. So, I simply would say “I AM DEAF” even if I feel like I am closer to like a hearing person. Simple as that!
I no longer want to hear or read how the audiology report said I have a 82% HEARING LOSS in my right ear and a 93% HEARING LOSS in my left ear. Because I think it's time for the the audiologist to create a new form of audiology report for those who were BORN with a low hearing level ear/s. Leaving the old kind of hearing lost report form for those who actually lost it hearing whether it was from accident or illness.