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Unread 08-07-2005, 10:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Is being deaf a disability or not?

Hello,

My name is Fem. I am a student of the university of Ghent (Belgium). For my studies in 'Disability Studies', i am making an essay on Deafculture (I have to hand it over on the 18th of August 2005). For me this is a whole new area. I am hearing, but i have a Deaf classmate who has awakend my interest for this subject.

The title of my work is : "i am Deaf - a literaturesurvey about the silent crie for fully citizenship" (Excuse me for my bad English translation...)
With this title I want to show that this is not about the medical and biological sense of being deaf. It is about being deaf in a hearing society, about deafculture and deafconsciousness, about being Deaf ... It is about discrimination and inclusion, about respect and human rights ...

I would like to end this essay with a discussion about ‘Deaf an disability’.
For this, I’ll see what the literature says about this. But I would also want to see what d/Deaf people think about this.

So, my question to you is: Is being deaf a disability or not? What do you think about this? How do you experience your deafness?

A clue: Think about the following sentences. These are examples for the situation in Belgium. I don’t know about the situation in your country. Maybe you can think of some other situations or examples. These are always welcome ...

“Deaf often say that they are not disabled, but still they accept the card for free use of the bus.”

“Deaf often say that they don’t have a disability, but they don’t mind for having a INTEGRATIETEGEMOETKOMING.”

So, I find an answer on the question “Is being deaf a disability or not?”. The examples above can be used as a support to give me your opinion.

If you want to write me about this subject and about your experiences, could you please give me the answer on some short questions? These questions can help me to see if for example grown ups have a different opinion about this than teenagers.

Male/female:
Age:
Continent/State/country/city:
Were you born deaf? If not, at what age did you become deaf?
Are your parents d/Deaf or hearing?
Do you go to a deafclub? Why/ why not?
How do you communicate: oral and/or sign language? What is the reason herefore?

I want to thank you very much for giving me your opinion on this! All the information will be used anonimously.

I need a lot of answers to get a good view on how d/Deaf people experience their deafness. So don’t hesitate ! You can help me very much!

Greetings from Belgium,
Fem D'Hespeel

You can reach me on my emailadres (for your answer, of for questions):

Email: dhespeelfem@gmail.com
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Unread 08-07-2005, 11:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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answer is yes
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Unread 08-07-2005, 12:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Is deaf able to hear as clearly as hearies?

The answer is way too obviously!

Able = CAN
DISable = CAN'T
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Unread 08-07-2005, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Maybe I should ask it like this: Do you experience your deafness as a disability? In wich situations?
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Unread 08-07-2005, 04:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I personally don't feel that being hoh/deaf is a disabilty ... a communication challege at times - yes, but a disablilty not really.

I'm one of those people that "puts my money where my mouth is" on that one too .

I've bought my TTY, visual signallers ( SonicAlert stuff - door, phone, etc flashers) hearing aid, and any other adaptive devices I use all at retail price, and I don't think "society owes me" for them ... is it lousy that my phone (uniphone tty ) costs 500.00 instead of 25.00 at walmart ... YUP. But honestly many individuals have specific needs that cost more than "standard". Heck I save money since I'm not buying hundreds of CDs and various MP3players, iPods etc LOL.

I've worked full time since I graduated college, and I've never claimed or applied for a discount on my taxes etc for being hoh/deaf. I don't agree with claiming SSI purely because someone can't hear ... infact it flat out ticks me off when people do it. The only deductions I've ever taken for being hoh/Deaf have been claiming the small about for my TTYs one year on my taxes ( the gov gave me I think 25$ back because it counted as a medical expense .. yippy for me !), my addition health insurance I pay at work covered $150.00 of my HA cost and I was allowed 1/2 tuition for an ASL immersion program, which offers discounts for hoh/deaf who are learning ASL.


Of course no everyone one will feel the way I do ... and that's ok too...

personally I think that being deaf/hoh is a lot like coming from a different country that speaks a different language ... I run into communication problems ( so I carry pen and paper) , I run into ignorate people ( the same ones that make fun of other minority groups) , I get frustrated with situations that are made harder than they have to be .... but all in all - I don't really feel disabled by my hearing loss - I feel challenged.. but challenge often makes us more understanding, more accepting, and 'better' people ... if we choose to let it


If you want to say that deaf/hoh isn't a disablity .. then you have to ACT like it !

just my 2 cents
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Unread 08-07-2005, 05:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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deaf = hearing impared

It is just a sensory loss and I'm physcially disabled / profoundly deaf
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Unread 08-07-2005, 05:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't find it to be a disablity, rather it is the social setting that is set for us by the hearing standard which becomes the disabling factor.
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Unread 08-07-2005, 10:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would view it basically as a disability since I'm unable to truly experience some possibilites in the communicative realm of which I'm a part of.

Having said that, it is more of a challenge to me to see what I can do as opposed to "woe is me".
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Unread 08-08-2005, 05:18 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes, deafness and HOH are a disability but I do not consider myself as disability.
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Unread 08-08-2005, 05:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Talking Yes that is ok but still 50% and 50% for both of disability and ability.

I am giving you for an example of what it is the difference between disability and ability....
For instance one of man who is deaf work as constructor and they won't hire because he is deaf that he is being disability that he cannot hear from other co-worker to watch out something falling down going to hit on deaf man's head. That what called he is unable to hear the other co-worker who shout for watch out something falling down ahead to hit on deaf man's head. That is still so-called disability.

The other instance one of man who is deaf work as big truck ( semi-truck) driver that he is able to look out for mirror and driving and knows how to follow the road signals that he has ability to work for that type of job. That is how it makes them noticed he is ability to work that kind of job.

As now that you can compare the difference about disability and ability 50% and 50% too.

You see why hearing impaired people cannot join military for war and they are still disability too. ok you got that? wink






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Originally Posted by Liebling:-)))
Yes, deafness and HOH are a disability but I do not consider myself as disability.
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Unread 08-08-2005, 06:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Talking

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamyHawaii
I am giving you for an example of what it is the difference between disability and ability....
For instance one of man who is deaf work as constructor and they won't hire because he is deaf that he is being disability that he cannot hear from other co-worker to watch out something falling down going to hit on deaf man's head. That what called he is unable to hear the other co-worker who shout for watch out something falling down ahead to hit on deaf man's head. That is still so-called disability.
Yes, that's what I mention that deaf or HOH are a disability. Some of jobs like what you mentioned and also telephonist, too etc. where it's not fit for the deaf but they STILL can work in the office for constructor or any businesses like house plan, etc. Something positive to be happy instead of whine over their deafness.

Quote:
The other instance one of man who is deaf work as big truck ( semi-truck) driver that he is able to look out for mirror and driving and knows how to follow the road signals that he has ability to work for that type of job. That is how it makes them noticed he is ability to work that kind of job.
Yes, I know because we have alot of deafies in Germany and also in England who work as big truck. I see no problem because deafies have their own eyes that they can watch. They are happy and sataisfy with their jobs.

Quote:
As now that you can compare the difference about disability and ability 50% and 50% too.
Yes, I know but I doesn't bother to compare anything because I'm happy what I am. I do not consider myself as disability. Yes, I know deaf/HOH are for hearing world is disability because they CAN't hear or hear hardly.

Quote:
You see why hearing impaired people cannot join military for war and they are still disability too. ok you got that? wink
I'm glad being deaf because I don't want to go war. I'm anti-war
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Unread 08-08-2005, 07:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes sure no problem that is it ok smile ok have fun....

Yes that is true and same me too. very luckiest in this world that we are deaf and cannot go war out there. smile.....



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I'm glad being deaf because I don't want to go war. I'm anti-war
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Unread 08-11-2005, 06:19 AM   #13 (permalink)
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yes it's a disability but the words discrimination and disadvantage probaly sum up my feelings about my deafness better
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Unread 08-11-2005, 06:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liebling:-)))
I'm anti-war
But you support the war because you work for the military?

Sorry
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Unread 08-11-2005, 09:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm HOH but the way I look at it is that being HOH is only a disability in situations where the majority of society has set it up to be that way. At home being HOH isn't a disability because I have it set up so that I know everything I need to know (like with flashing lights and vibrating clocks). But when I go out someplace that's not set up for people who are D/deaf/Hoh, then being HOH becomes a disability because I can't do what other people can, like at a place where they call out numbers to tell you when your food is ready or where knowing about something depends on a sound that I can't hear. But if it weren't for those things I wouldn't think of myself as disabled. Hope that makes sense!

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Unread 08-24-2005, 10:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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i'm severe/profound hoh i dont think i have a disabilty...the hearies are hard of signing
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Unread 08-25-2005, 12:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reba
But you support the war because you work for the military?

Sorry
Of course I work for military but not for war...
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Unread 01-09-2009, 07:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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If deafness is a disability then how come we can do everything a hearing persons can? Deaf can have sex, walk, read, write, ride bikes, fly planes, watch tv, listen to music, etc.
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Unread 01-09-2009, 07:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Of course I work for military but not for war...
military is in business of war... with guns and bombs... and killings... check your dictionary and it says military is the armed forces. A-R-M-E-D. armed = weapons.

you should be working for Red Cross or Peace Corps.
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Unread 01-09-2009, 07:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
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yes deaf is a disability.
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Unread 01-09-2009, 07:11 PM   #21 (permalink)
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If deafness is a disability then how come we can do everything a hearing persons can? Deaf can have sex, walk, read, write, ride bikes, fly planes, watch tv, listen to music, etc.
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Unread 01-09-2009, 07:16 PM   #22 (permalink)
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If deafness is a disability then how come we can do everything a hearing persons can? Deaf can have sex, walk, read, write, ride bikes, fly planes, watch tv, listen to music, etc.
yes ok no need to repeat it.
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Unread 01-09-2009, 07:31 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Being deaf/HOH in itself is a rather limited disability, for the most part only forcing you to choose other means to the same end. We have ASL/flashing alarm clocks/thumpers/etc to do everything a hearie could, and there are few things that we can't do/jobs we can't take safely.

The real problem is living in a hearing focused society with a very stereotypical view of disabilities/the deaf/HOH. A surpising amount of people are very intolerant and rude about it to me while I'm making a great effort to communicate with them and explain it to them, with comments such as

"Oh, you're only part-deaf. You can still hear me so what's the problem? You should be grateful you aren't one of those deafmutes, I know I am"
"Uhhh <.< Why do I always get to work with the ****ing cripple?"

all the time. The aforementioned is why many deaf people congregate together and try to block out the hearies. It's easier to live/work with people who won't shun them based on being deaf/HOH.

BTW before you say anything like

Quote:
“Deaf often say that they are not disabled, but still they accept the card for free use of the bus.”
you should know that many of them have incredible difficulty finding an employer who will hire someone who can't hear. I'm having incredible difficulty with this myself now.
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Unread 01-10-2009, 07:33 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Wrong questions based on grammar and logic which totally ignore reality.

Your questions also contain presuppositions that are unexamined and should be eliminated if you wish to have an unbiased result.

Better questions based on linguistic and semantic principles:

When is being deaf an advantage, a disadvantage, or a non issue?

Why is the term disability used in regards to deafness?

Who applies the term disability to D/deaf people?

What are the legal issues?
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Unread 01-10-2009, 07:58 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Yes, deafness is a disability in the sense that a deaf person does not have the ability to do things that people with intact hearing do: use the telephone, listen to music, etc.

It's my view that "disabilities" are measured against what a human being with the accepted natural abilities of sight, hearing, locomotion, etc. is able to do. A person who loses or is born without one or more of the natural abilities is considered "disabled" in the sense that they are lacking one or more of these abilities. It's just a label, and I've never been offended by or felt humiliated by being labeled "disabled" or "handicapped". It's a term, like "white", "black", "Asian", etc.

As far as accepting freebies from governments, keep in mind that many of the assistive devices that any disabled person relies upon to allow them to function in the "normal" world can be very expensive, and most insurance does not cover these devices, so the person pays for them out of pocket. If governments paid 100% for hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive signaling devices, seeing-eye/hearing ear/seizure/etc. dogs, state-of-the-art prosthetic limbs, etc., then I'm sure a lot of disabled people would decline free bus passes or whatever "normal" people see as handouts to what they see as lazy people.
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Unread 01-10-2009, 08:02 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Yes, deafness is a disability in the sense that a deaf person does not have the ability to do things that people with intact hearing do: use the telephone, listen to music, etc. It's my view that "disabilities" are measured against what a human being with the accepted natural abilities of sight, hearing, locomotion, etc. is able to do. A person who loses or is born without one or more of the natural abilities is considered "disabled" in the sense that they are lacking one or more of these abilities. It's just a label, and I've never been offended by or felt humiliated by being labeled "disabled" or "handicapped". It's a term, like "white", "black", "Asian", etc.

As far as accepting freebies from governments, keep in mind that many of the assistive devices that any disabled person relies upon to allow them to function in the "normal" world can be very expensive, and most insurance does not cover these devices, so the person pays for them out of pocket. If governments paid 100% for hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive signaling devices, seeing-eye/hearing ear/seizure/etc. dogs, state-of-the-art prosthetic limbs, etc., then I'm sure a lot of disabled people would decline free bus passes or whatever "normal" people see as handouts to what they see as lazy people.
Just food for thought here: deaf can use the telephone or listen to music; they simply do it differently that an average hearing person would.
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Unread 01-10-2009, 08:39 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Just food for thought here: deaf can use the telephone or listen to music; they simply do it differently that an average hearing person would.
I'm talking about the difference between "normal" and "disabled". "Normal" means using the telephone with the receiver to the ear and having a conversation with another person. "Normal" means having the stereo on a volume below "earth-shaking".
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Unread 01-10-2009, 08:42 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I'm talking about the difference between "normal" and "disabled". "Normal" means using the telephone with the receiver to the ear and having a conversation with another person. "Normal" means having the stereo on a volume below "earth-shaking".
Ohhhh...crossing a line there with the "normal" and "disabled" comment. You are implying that someone with a disability is "abnormal". Nothing could be further from the truth.

Hmmm....I know a lot of hearing people that turn their stereos up to "earth-shaking" volume. Are they abnormal?

Normal may mean having a spoken converation on the telephone to you, but to many, many deaf, normal is having conversation on a telephone using a TTY or texting.
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Unread 01-10-2009, 08:54 AM   #29 (permalink)
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You missed the point I was making.

Yes, deafness is a disability in the sense that a deaf person does not have the ability to do things that people with intact hearing do: use the telephone, listen to music, etc.

I'm talking about what a "normal" person perceives as a disability.
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Unread 01-10-2009, 08:54 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Of course I work for military but not for war...
The purpose of the military is war. What do you think the military do? The military for whom you work are warriors. Their mission is war. If there were no wars or threats of war, then you wouldn't have a job.
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