Can HOH genuinely identify as Deaf?

BecLak

Well-Known Member
#1
This is a question which tends to circulate with mirage of differing opinions. Some swinging the pendulum as far 'They're faking' or 'using SIgn Language as your primary language is the key' and many inbetween. What's your opinion? (Be nice ;-) )
 
#2
I myself am classed as Hoh and according to English welfare I am classed as having a disability due to my hearing loss, I can hear without my aids and I can hold a conversation too. You can not fake deafness. Geez I wanted my hearing to be better than what it is :p
 

peekaboo

Active Member
#3
I cant hear nothing without my hearing aids, deaf as a doorknob, but I guess it depends on the person who is deaf and rather or not they accept you as a hoh in the deaf culture. I had a few who looks at me as if I was hearing all because I didn't know ASL really well. I got better as I got older, but, to be honest. I would MUCH rather sign ASL than speak. This is just me. When I sign ASL. I can be myself, its liek a language that allows me to express myself better than I can when I am talking with my voice.
 
#4
This is a question which tends to circulate with mirage of differing opinions. Some swinging the pendulum as far 'They're faking' or 'using SIgn Language as your primary language is the key' and many inbetween. What's your opinion? (Be nice ;-) )
There are many definitions of “d/Deafness” cultural or audiological and other.

“Faking” or exaggerating hearing loss annoys the crap out of me.

This is just my opinion, but if a person has mild to moderate hearing loss, it is just weird for them to identify as Deaf unless they come from Deaf families.
I was probably born hard of hearing and had progressive hearing loss, though I learned ASL starting when I started school. I’ve identified as hearing, hard of hearing, Deaf and d/Deaf. I prefer d/Deaf because it encompasses the fact that I was totally Dreaf for over a 1/3rd, sign, but can also function pretty well in the hearing world.
I have a cochlear implant and it isn’t perfect at all. It is amazing but I’m NOT hearing. Not even close but it is so much better than hearing aids or roaring tinnitus.

I’ve always dreamed in ASL though I need to practice a bit. I grew up in a Total Communication setting and because of that and using interpreters in graduate level science courses, I really rely on an accurate interpretation of a professor’s words. “Train go sorry” as a metaphor for pure ASL in medicine would be woefully insufficient.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
#5
This is just my opinion, but if a person has mild to moderate hearing loss, it is just weird for them to identify as Deaf unless they come from Deaf families.
Why? They're not hearing. That's like saying it's weird for a biracial person to identify as black or Hispanic. They are part of the Deaf world too.
 
#6
I am HOH and while I do not identify as deaf I do use the word often as I try to persuade others to speak in a way I can understand. I feel the word demands people pay more attention.

I would never describe myself as deaf in conversation with people who cannot hear at all. Our life experiences are radically different.
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
#7
Why? They're not hearing. That's like saying it's weird for a biracial person to identify as black or Hispanic. They are part of the Deaf world too.
I was mildly hard if hearing for 7 years in one ear before I began to notice the hearing loss. So no, I was not deaf at that time. And I did not start thinking of my self as being deaf until I reached the severe-profound range.
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
#9
I'm completely deaf (+120db) on my right side, and have fluctuating moderate hearing loss on my left. I also have APD.
Medically/audiologically, I "function" as Hoh, but culturally I am Deaf.
 
#10
Why? They're not hearing. That's like saying it's weird for a biracial person to identify as black or Hispanic. They are part of the Deaf world too.
Well, here is another analogy.
Without my glasses, I am legally blind. With my glasses my vision is 20/30 to 20/45. I’d never identify myself as blind or visually impaired because I can see and function in a way that is nearly identical to people with normal vision (except at night).
 

BecLak

Well-Known Member
#11
BTW, I think the OP is asking about Deaf, not deaf. Culturally, not biologically.
This is a general debate question. Yes, I mean, Culturally. However, in hearing culture, deafness is defined purely audiologically. (Only not as deafness but as hearinģ 'loss') So, where does it place many of us who are on this forum? What is the true definition? Only we ourselves can define this.
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
#12
I identify as deaf/HoH. I'm deaf without my CI/HA but am HoH with them. Though, now with my CI, I'm not as HoH as I was with just HAs.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
#14
Well, here is another analogy.
Without my glasses, I am legally blind. With my glasses my vision is 20/30 to 20/45. I’d never identify myself as blind or visually impaired because I can see and function in a way that is nearly identical to people with normal vision (except at night).
That's functionally. Not culturally. Pretty much ALL bilaterally HOH folks have issues hearing in less then soundbooth conditions. Otherwise you wouldn't have ALDs, closed captioned etc Granted yes it would be weird for a unilaterally dhh kid to identify as Deaf......But the only real difference between deaf and HOH is that HOH kids might not need intense speech services to learn to speak. It's VERY audist to say that HOH kids shouldn't identify as Deaf. It's also VERY ableist.
 

Lau2046

Well-Known Member
#15
I identify as deaf but it's not my ethnicity or my identity. It just is. As my former ASL teacher explained, a gentleman who was profoundly deaf and used only ASL, if you depend on the hearing aids and can't function without them, you're deaf. I don't know why people feel the need to nick pick on range of loss, it seems petty.

Laura
 

zeefour

Active Member
#17
I'm HoH. I really don't like the "faking it" mentality. Some of us didn't have the choice. With our hearing loss we were given hearing aids or in some cases a CI and mainstreamed in hearing schools where we had to learn to speak and get around in the hearing world without signing. The sign I was exposed to wasn't ASL either, it was signed English and SEE. I'm learning proper ASL and I really want to be more active in the Deaf community. But I also have my family and friends in the hearing community and I've had a lot longer to learn how to get by with speech, using my HAs and other adaptations than in a completely ASL Deaf community, though even when I am much more fluent in ASL and am more active in the Deaf community I'll still have those hearing friends and family. Does that make sense?

But yeah 100% agree with @Lysander it does hurt. It's that attitude that kept me from trying to jump into the Deaf ASL community when I was younger. I didn't want to be made fun of, called a faker, be told I'm not "Deaf" enough or anything like that. It's not like I chose the communication style I was forced to learn as a child because I thought ASL and the Deaf community weren't good enough for me or something outrageous like that. It's why a lot of us HoH folks don't feel too hearing for the Deaf community and too Deaf for the hearing community so we don't fit in anywhere :-(
 

zeefour

Active Member
#18
Well, here is another analogy.
Without my glasses, I am legally blind. With my glasses my vision is 20/30 to 20/45. I’d never identify myself as blind or visually impaired because I can see and function in a way that is nearly identical to people with normal vision (except at night).
I don't like that analogy. I'm legally blind without my glasses or contacts too but with them I can see almost perfectly. Even though I've been that way since kindergarten I don't require extra adaptations to see, I can drive, I can read, etc. so I do not consider myself visually impaired. With my hearing aids, I do NOT hear anywhere close to perfect. I had years of speech therapy, I required an FM system, I had an IEP all through school, I have a dog when I'm alone outside because I still can't hear anything behind me, etc. If someone has super mild hearing loss as a post lingual adult, and with their hearing aids they're back to very close to regular hearing sure. But I bet you that's not anywhere close to the case for 99% of HoH people who have any connection with the Deaf community. If a child was born blind and with glasses could see some shapes and colors, but still not be able to read without special accomodations and things like that, would you still consider them visually impaired even though they aren't completely blind, use a cane and have a seeing eye dog? Yep. That's a much closer analogy.
 

zeefour

Active Member
#19
That's functionally. Not culturally. Pretty much ALL bilaterally HOH folks have issues hearing in less then soundbooth conditions. Otherwise you wouldn't have ALDs, closed captioned etc Granted yes it would be weird for a unilaterally dhh kid to identify as Deaf......But the only real difference between deaf and HOH is that HOH kids might not need intense speech services to learn to speak. It's VERY audist to say that HOH kids shouldn't identify as Deaf. It's also VERY ableist.
Great post! Just to add I'm HoH and still needed still needed speech classes. Not at the intensity of some of my profoundly Deaf friends, but I was still very young when I lost a great deal of my hearing and was in speech in elementary school.
 

peekaboo

Active Member
#20
I'm HoH. I really don't like the "faking it" mentality. Some of us didn't have the choice. With our hearing loss we were given hearing aids or in some cases a CI and mainstreamed in hearing schools where we had to learn to speak and get around in the hearing world without signing. The sign I was exposed to wasn't ASL either, it was signed English and SEE. I'm learning proper ASL and I really want to be more active in the Deaf community. But I also have my family and friends in the hearing community and I've had a lot longer to learn how to get by with speech, using my HAs and other adaptations than in a completely ASL Deaf community, though even when I am much more fluent in ASL and am more active in the Deaf community I'll still have those hearing friends and family. Does that make sense?

But yeah 100% agree with @Lysander it does hurt. It's that attitude that kept me from trying to jump into the Deaf ASL community when I was younger. I didn't want to be made fun of, called a faker, be told I'm not "Deaf" enough or anything like that. It's not like I chose the communication style I was forced to learn as a child because I thought ASL and the Deaf community weren't good enough for me or something outrageous like that. It's why a lot of us HoH folks don't feel too hearing for the Deaf community and too Deaf for the hearing community so we don't fit in anywhere :-(
I know what you mean. I have fully embraced the Deaf Culture even though I am not DEAF enough in the deaf community, however, some do accept me as I am hoh but am deaf in one ear, so they are accepted when it comes to ASL, if you dont know it ASL, they will look at you as you have not fully embraced their language since people who are hoh are trying to "joined" in the Deaf Community. I know I was there once too many times. I do understand how they would feel that way, its like in the hearing world, you can speak and hear them, but if you hear a word that you havent heard before, the hearing will look you funny as if you should have had knowledge in that word or this word, its like, Oh you dont know , but you can hear, gosh, sure we can hear, but we didnt hear everything growing up, I know I didnt and there are alot of words I have never heard of, they look at you as if you are stupid or something. I cant help the way I am. This is who I am, accept me or not. I didnt asked to be deaf/hoh. This is who I was born to be and I am not going to apologize for that. NOPE! But the Deaf are coming around to those who are HOH and they try to be more patient with us who are late learners :)