Identifying as Deaf and disabled

Hayden

New Member
Hello! I haven't posted in awhile, but I am Hayden. I am Deaf. I grew up oral but now I use sign almost exclusively. I am very involved with my local Deaf community. I visit the Deaf school often and have many friends there, I am an active member of the local Deaf Association, I am a sign language TA for my university. I didn't grow up Deaf but I am very proud of my culture and my identity. Through teaching sign, I also have become very involved with the greater disabled community, a group of people who self-identify as "disabled." I am the president of the group for disabled students at my university and the disability rights advocacy group, and I am in the disability honor society. I also am very involved in the mental health/mental disabilities advocacy community because I have OCD. I use the words "Deaf" and "disabled" to define myself. I don't apply either of those labels to people who don't use them for themselves, but I identify as part of the Deaf community and the disabled community and I am very proud of both groups. However, a Deaf friend of mine told me that because I use the label "disabled" to describe myself as a whole, I am not really a part of the Deaf community and I can't claim to have Deaf pride. I do not agree that the word disabled is offensive. Thoughts?
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
I think out in the wide world you will find other people who are both Deaf and disabled by other disabilities.

Your friend must have led a sheltered life if he only knows of pure Vanilla Deaf.
 

Hayden

New Member
I totally agree!
How do you feel about people who consider their deafness (as in the medical condition, not the cultural aspect of things) a disability?
 

Nothingless

New Member
As my Asl and Deaf culture teachers say, the disability label is usually accepted as okay, at least by those who wish to access services or assistance from the government, because it's the language these services use. It's a blurry line for some, there are different perceptions of these labels, but what matters are the ones we give ourselves. And our perceptions and the perceptions of others evolve through our lives. Discuss with your friend each-others' beliefs, maybe you'll come to more of an understanding.
 

Mewtilation

New Member
I would never use the term disabled unless there was something that TRULY disabled me... Being OCD isn't a disability in my book, and neither is being Deaf. :mad:
 

radioman

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
whatever labels you want that rocks your boat. you are always going to have someone who feels its offensive since it might apply to them as a group and dont want "bad apples" spoiling the whole tree. Just remind them that you here to help and it seems to help you push on in life.
 

drphil

Active Member
I suppose one can be "lucky" that in one's school that "hearie chicks" know ASL et al. commenting on the condition of DEAFness.

Another intermural " labelling exercise".
 

Tuscany

New Member
I don't really label myself as "Deaf" with a capital D. To me that just seems like I'm making my disability my idendity, which I don't want to do.

I'd say I'm a "person with a hearing impairment" instead of a "Deaf person".
 

ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I don't know how it is in the UK, but the US the capital D means culturally deaf, they use sign language.

I'm deaf, little d, because audiologically I'm deaf, but I don't use ASL.
 

sonocativo

Well-Known Member
I can relate, I am nor disabled due entirely being I am nearly Deaf now, but I have other injuries that tie me into the disability side due to my spinal injuries and other health issues, so I can relate to being Deaf and Disabled.
 

Tuscany

New Member
I don't know how it is in the UK, but the US the capital D means culturally deaf, they use sign language.

I'm deaf, little d, because audiologically I'm deaf, but I don't use ASL.
No, it's the same in the UK.

Capital D = Culturally Deaf
 

hoichi

Well-Known Member
Paddy Ladd has some good books. That are Brit specific re culture.....As for sign
I only know the rude signs and some dirty signs in BSl the important ones. I can't remember her name now.....but she taught me a enough..that night....mmmmm
(Lights fag)
But I do prefer the bsl sign for magic as opposed to our ASL sign for magic
The bsl sign I just prefer...
 

Pythias

Member
If that is how you see yourself, then it is an accurate description, and if you don't try to apply it to folks who don't identify with the label, then why would someone else have a problem with it? Not their business. You go on your your Deaf and disabled self. :)
 
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