Reclaiming the term "hearing impaired"

deafdyke

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My reasons why I dont want to be associated with this term..


im·paired
[im-paird] Show IPA

adjective
1.
weakened, diminished, or damaged: impaired hearing; to rebuild an impaired bridge.

2.
functioning poorly or inadequately: Consumption of alcohol results in an impaired driver.

3.
deficient or incompetent (usually preceded by an adverb or noun): morally impaired; sports-impaired.


Non of that describes me so nobody is permitted to call me hearing impaired.

Exactly! It can also apply to other conditions as well.......ie low vison (legally blind) instead of visually impaired, or wheelchair/walker/crutch user instead of mobility impaired.
 

shel90

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No, I think he is confusing it with Cholera which has nothing to do with genitalia.

I guess that person lost me. Now that you mentioned it and I reread that person's post, I see what you mean. I dont know if that person is talking to me or to the OP.
 

Bottesini

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I guess that person lost me. Now that you mentioned it and I reread that person's post, I see what you mean. I dont know if that person is talking to me or to the OP.

She's talking to the OP.
 

Lau2046

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Exactly! It can also apply to other conditions as well.......ie low vison (legally blind) instead of visually impaired, or wheelchair/walker/crutch user instead of mobility impaired.

God help us all if doctors are no longer able to make a medical statement for fear of offending anyone carrying a dictionary ready to pick every word apart.....and twist it out of context....

Laura
 

NitroHonda

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God help us all if doctors are no longer able to make a medical statement for fear of offending anyone carrying a dictionary ready to pick every word apart.....and twist it out of context....

Laura

That's a bit of an unfair statement. This is more so about how society labels us. Not the medical term used for themselves. Think of it as black people being labeled melanin-dominant by society? It doesn't fit. Each has their use in certain circles.
 

ecp

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God help us all if doctors are no longer able to make a medical statement for fear of offending anyone carrying a dictionary ready to pick every word apart.....and twist it out of context....

Laura

As a student of medicine, I live in constant fear of sociology majors who took one class in "disability studies" and thus know EVERYTHING.
Like people who insist we use the term "hard of hearing" when the freaking dictionary defines "hard of hearing" as "relating to or having a defective but functional sense of hearing". http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hard of hearing
That seems to be equivalent to having "impaired hearing" except being hearing impaired doesn't come with the definition that my hearing is "functional" CAUSE it isn't.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just BE?

If we didn't have to argue to be able to use terms that best describe us.
If these arguments didn't make us feel tempted to call out people with mild hearing loss who judge everybody else for their choices?
As much as this is about how "society" views us it is even more how we are judged by the very people who should be our greatest allies, the deaf community.

It would be awesome if we didn't have to defend our choices to use or not use sign language or to use or not use hearing aids or cochlear implants.

My original post was more about how I want to reclaim the term "hearing impaired" and use it to describe me. It is only a "bad word" if you make it one.
Hearing people honestly don't give one fuck.
 

Lau2046

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That's a bit of an unfair statement. This is more so about how society labels us. Not the medical term used for themselves. Think of it as black people being labeled melanin-dominant by society? It doesn't fit. Each has their use in certain circles.

Really over reaching there with the black experience in America....just a tad.... If a person, a medical doctor, can't use a valid medical term without touching a nerve than medicine is doomed; no one can keep pace with all the liberal, politically correct words of the moment....people really need to get over themselves, and stop perceiving everything like a personal attack. It’s not…..

This just highlights one of the major reasons why I've never wanted to attach myself socially to the deaf community. They’re always looking at the negatives in search of this vast conspiracy in the medical community…. Of all the years I spent in and out of hospitals as a child, the one constant they always remarked upon in the paperwork was my optimism and not giving a damn about my deafness - however it was defined, however visible the hearing aids – and they were huge in my day. If everyone must walk on egg shells because you hear the word hearing impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing, and can’t help but to internalize it as an insult, than you have bigger problems than hearing loss. I’m learning disabled too – on top of hearing impaired. I don’t recall one year I wasn't bullied because of it. In high school, my nick name was “dummy” (by my dear friend I might add….). I never got into fights….but I will kick liberal butt if I ever meet anyone that calls me “intellectually challenged…” It’s a learning disability – get it over it….I did.
 
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NitroHonda

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Really over reaching there with the black experience in America....just a tad.... If a person, a medical doctor, can't use a valid medical term without touching a nerve than medicine is doomed; no one can keep pace with all the liberal, politically correct words of the moment....people really need to get over themselves, and stop perceiving everything like a personal attack. It’s not…..

This just highlights one of the major reasons why I've never wanted to attach myself socially to the deaf community. They’re always looking at the negatives in search of this vast conspiracy in the medical community…. Of all the years I spent in and out of hospitals as a child, the one constant they always remarked upon in the paperwork was my optimism and not giving a damn about my deafness - however it was defined, however visible the hearing aids – and they were huge in my day. If everyone must walk on egg shells because you hear the word hearing impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing, and can’t help but to internalize it as an insult, than you have bigger problems than hearing loss. I’m learning disabled too – on top of hearing impaired. I don’t recall one year I was bullied because of it. In high school, my nick name was “dummy” (by my dear friend I might add….). I never got into fights….but I will kick liberal butt if I ever meet anyone that calls me “intellectually challenged…” It’s a learning disability – get it over it….I did.

Not really. It's about understanding people being called what they are and what they want to be called. You keep rehashing the doctor thing. I've already said my beef isn't with the medical terminology.

You don't think most of us get the same "wow that's amazing!" comments? I do constantly... so I'm having a hard time seeing what new thing you are trying to show me with that?

How come you get to be livid by the PC classification of a learning disability yet everybody else needs to get over themselves? Ain't that the pot calling the kettle black?
 

shel90

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Really over reaching there with the black experience in America....just a tad.... If a person, a medical doctor, can't use a valid medical term without touching a nerve than medicine is doomed; no one can keep pace with all the liberal, politically correct words of the moment....people really need to get over themselves, and stop perceiving everything like a personal attack. It’s not…..

This just highlights one of the major reasons why I've never wanted to attach myself socially to the deaf community. They’re always looking at the negatives in search of this vast conspiracy in the medical community…. Of all the years I spent in and out of hospitals as a child, the one constant they always remarked upon in the paperwork was my optimism and not giving a damn about my deafness - however it was defined, however visible the hearing aids – and they were huge in my day. If everyone must walk on egg shells because you hear the word hearing impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing, and can’t help but to internalize it as an insult, than you have bigger problems than hearing loss. I’m learning disabled too – on top of hearing impaired. I don’t recall one year I wasn't bullied because of it. In high school, my nick name was “dummy” (by my dear friend I might add….). I never got into fights….but I will kick liberal butt if I ever meet anyone that calls me “intellectually challenged…” It’s a learning disability – get it over it….I did.

That is your right to feel that way and people should respect you for it. Just like I feel I should be respected for not liking being called hearing impaired. I just dont like the negative implications of it. Doesnt mean I have bigger problems. It is very simple but people like to make it bigger than it really is. Whats wrong with simply not liking it and just leave it at that?
 

dogmom

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I dislike "intellectually challenged " and see it as PC kinda gone too far. It's similar to what I already posted.

The traditional medical establishment does have much to gain for themselves from putting things into medical-only perspectives and not looking at things from a more holistic and/or more broader sense. The drug companies and the medical and vet schools are connected an insidious sense. Doctors are not divine.

I think there is much more wrong in a collective sense with "hearing impaired" than internal concern.
 

whatdidyousay!

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Not really. It's about understanding people being called what they are and what they want to be called. You keep rehashing the doctor thing. I've already said my beef isn't with the medical terminology.

You don't think most of us get the same "wow that's amazing!" comments? I do constantly... so I'm having a hard time seeing what new thing you are trying to show me with that?

How come you get to be livid by the PC classification of a learning disability yet everybody else needs to get over themselves? Ain't that the pot calling the kettle black?

My daughter is Black and she had racist comment made to her face in grade school . There is no way you can convince me that being called 'hearing impaired, is that same as a racist call a Black person names! It called a 'Hate Crime' when you call a person name against their race or religious.
It is not a crime to call a HOH person hearing impaired.
 

NitroHonda

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My daughter is Black and she had racist comment made to her face in grade school . There is no way you can convince me that being called 'hearing impaired, is that same as a racist call a Black person names! It called a 'Hate Crime' when you call a person name against their race or religious.
It is not a crime to call a HOH person hearing impaired.

Not where I was hoping to go. I hope you know I meant no offense.

FYI, it's not a crime to call a black person the "n" word either.

And to be clear... I was talking about calling a black person melanin-dominant. Not any of the negative words. Just the medical term.
 

whatdidyousay!

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Pythias

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People talk about not classifying yourself, but when talking with hearing people there are practical reasons for letting them know I can't hear. With Deaf people I meet, usually as soon as they see my hearing aids, they ask if I'm Deaf. So that doesn't really work. I've really run into a functional conundrum here, and "Hearing Impaired" is the best I can do in certain circumstances.

See, if I say, "I'm Deaf,"
Accuracy: I feel like a poser, or like one of those WannaBes folks were talking about. Culturally, I was raised Hearing, my school was Hearing, so was my family and so were my friends. Now I sign. I have Deaf friends that I hang out with (Oral, Voice Off, and everything in-between) and enjoy attending Deaf events. Still, my ASL is not fluent and I don't live in that world, so I can't, in good conscience, identify as "Deaf."
Practically, though, saying this gets them to look at me when they talk and not assume I heard things that were behind me.
PC-Wise: Deaf is an acceptable term

If I say, "I'm deaf,"
Accuracy: Well, I'm not profoundly deaf, so that isn't really accurate. Also, they can't tell that I didn't capitalize it, so the same problems as above.
Practically: That word evokes the response that I need.
PC-Wise: deaf is an acceptable term

If I say "I'm Hard of Hearing,"
Accuracy: I am HOH.
Practically: Not practical. I absolutely get the yell-louder-for-grandpa treatment. In the DHH community, HOH has a very clear meaning, but in the general population, the real meaning of HOH isn't really understood, and thus isn't an explanation of my circumstances or needs. If I want this to work, I have to give a 10 minute monolouge of my hearing capabilities, what that means functionally, and Deaf culture to explain my use of the term.
PC-Wise: HOH is an acceptable term

If I say "I'm hearing impaired,"
Accuracy: Typical functionality of hearing involves certain ranges at certain decibels- since the time I had Scarlet Fever, my ears do not meet those typical levels, so my hearing is impaired. It is accurate, and I'm not over-claming like I would be with "Deaf."
Practically: I am more likely to get a person to look at me and speak at a reasonable pace than when I say "HOH,"
PC-Wise: "Hearing Impaired" is not an acceptable term

So, what to do, what to do? I switch around alllllll the time.
With new Deaf people or at Deaf events, I call myself HOH.
With just Deaf friends, I call myself Deaf, because that is what they all call me, despite my introducing myself as HOH.
With hearing people like ASL students at Deaf events or who I don't know very well, I identify as HOH, but with those that I meet through Deaf friends, I identify as Deaf, because that is how I am introduced to them.
With hearing people with whom I am going to spend a great deal of time, like family, close friends, etc, I identify as HOH, but I include the monologue about what that means for me and why it is the appropriate term for me.
With new hearing people that aren't particularly close to me, I use Hearing Impaired for most functional purposes, like someone giving a seminar and I'm asking where they like to stand, so I can plan my seating.
With new hearing people that aren't particularly close to me, I use Deaf for most social purposes, like, "I'm sorry, can you repeat that? I'm pretty Deaf over here, so I have to see your mouth to understand you."

So, while I recognize that Deaf is a better term for those who are, in fact, Deaf, Hearing Impaired is sometimes an option that an in-between-worlds person like me is best off using. *ducks and covers*
 

rockin'robin

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People talk about not classifying yourself, but when talking with hearing people there are practical reasons for letting them know I can't hear. With Deaf people I meet, usually as soon as they see my hearing aids, they ask if I'm Deaf. So that doesn't really work. I've really run into a functional conundrum here, and "Hearing Impaired" is the best I can do in certain circumstances.

See, if I say, "I'm Deaf,"
Accuracy: I feel like a poser, or like one of those WannaBes folks were talking about. Culturally, I was raised Hearing, my school was Hearing, so was my family and so were my friends. Now I sign. I have Deaf friends that I hang out with (Oral, Voice Off, and everything in-between) and enjoy attending Deaf events. Still, my ASL is not fluent and I don't live in that world, so I can't, in good conscience, identify as "Deaf."
Practically, though, saying this gets them to look at me when they talk and not assume I heard things that were behind me.
PC-Wise: Deaf is an acceptable term

If I say, "I'm deaf,"
Accuracy: Well, I'm not profoundly deaf, so that isn't really accurate. Also, they can't tell that I didn't capitalize it, so the same problems as above.
Practically: That word evokes the response that I need.
PC-Wise: deaf is an acceptable term

If I say "I'm Hard of Hearing,"
Accuracy: I am HOH.
Practically: Not practical. I absolutely get the yell-louder-for-grandpa treatment. In the DHH community, HOH has a very clear meaning, but in the general population, the real meaning of HOH isn't really understood, and thus isn't an explanation of my circumstances or needs. If I want this to work, I have to give a 10 minute monolouge of my hearing capabilities, what that means functionally, and Deaf culture to explain my use of the term.
PC-Wise: HOH is an acceptable term

If I say "I'm hearing impaired,"
Accuracy: Typical functionality of hearing involves certain ranges at certain decibels- since the time I had Scarlet Fever, my ears do not meet those typical levels, so my hearing is impaired. It is accurate, and I'm not over-claming like I would be with "Deaf."
Practically: I am more likely to get a person to look at me and speak at a reasonable pace than when I say "HOH,"
PC-Wise: "Hearing Impaired" is not an acceptable term

So, what to do, what to do? I switch around alllllll the time.
With new Deaf people or at Deaf events, I call myself HOH.
With just Deaf friends, I call myself Deaf, because that is what they all call me, despite my introducing myself as HOH.
With hearing people like ASL students at Deaf events or who I don't know very well, I identify as HOH, but with those that I meet through Deaf friends, I identify as Deaf, because that is how I am introduced to them.
With hearing people with whom I am going to spend a great deal of time, like family, close friends, etc, I identify as HOH, but I include the monologue about what that means for me and why it is the appropriate term for me.
With new hearing people that aren't particularly close to me, I use Hearing Impaired for most functional purposes, like someone giving a seminar and I'm asking where they like to stand, so I can plan my seating.
With new hearing people that aren't particularly close to me, I use Deaf for most social purposes, like, "I'm sorry, can you repeat that? I'm pretty Deaf over here, so I have to see your mouth to understand you."

So, while I recognize that Deaf is a better term for those who are, in fact, Deaf, Hearing Impaired is sometimes an option that an in-between-worlds person like me is best off using. *ducks and covers*

:wave:...love it!.....you go girl!
 

BrittBritt

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People talk about not classifying yourself, but when talking with hearing people there are practical reasons for letting them know I can't hear. With Deaf people I meet, usually as soon as they see my hearing aids, they ask if I'm Deaf. So that doesn't really work. I've really run into a functional conundrum here, and "Hearing Impaired" is the best I can do in certain circumstances.

See, if I say, "I'm Deaf,"
Accuracy: I feel like a poser, or like one of those WannaBes folks were talking about. Culturally, I was raised Hearing, my school was Hearing, so was my family and so were my friends. Now I sign. I have Deaf friends that I hang out with (Oral, Voice Off, and everything in-between) and enjoy attending Deaf events. Still, my ASL is not fluent and I don't live in that world, so I can't, in good conscience, identify as "Deaf."
Practically, though, saying this gets them to look at me when they talk and not assume I heard things that were behind me.
PC-Wise: Deaf is an acceptable term

If I say, "I'm deaf,"
Accuracy: Well, I'm not profoundly deaf, so that isn't really accurate. Also, they can't tell that I didn't capitalize it, so the same problems as above.
Practically: That word evokes the response that I need.
PC-Wise: deaf is an acceptable term

If I say "I'm Hard of Hearing,"
Accuracy: I am HOH.
Practically: Not practical. I absolutely get the yell-louder-for-grandpa treatment. In the DHH community, HOH has a very clear meaning, but in the general population, the real meaning of HOH isn't really understood, and thus isn't an explanation of my circumstances or needs. If I want this to work, I have to give a 10 minute monolouge of my hearing capabilities, what that means functionally, and Deaf culture to explain my use of the term.
PC-Wise: HOH is an acceptable term

If I say "I'm hearing impaired,"
Accuracy: Typical functionality of hearing involves certain ranges at certain decibels- since the time I had Scarlet Fever, my ears do not meet those typical levels, so my hearing is impaired. It is accurate, and I'm not over-claming like I would be with "Deaf."
Practically: I am more likely to get a person to look at me and speak at a reasonable pace than when I say "HOH,"
PC-Wise: "Hearing Impaired" is not an acceptable term

So, what to do, what to do? I switch around alllllll the time.
With new Deaf people or at Deaf events, I call myself HOH.
With just Deaf friends, I call myself Deaf, because that is what they all call me, despite my introducing myself as HOH.
With hearing people like ASL students at Deaf events or who I don't know very well, I identify as HOH, but with those that I meet through Deaf friends, I identify as Deaf, because that is how I am introduced to them.
With hearing people with whom I am going to spend a great deal of time, like family, close friends, etc, I identify as HOH, but I include the monologue about what that means for me and why it is the appropriate term for me.
With new hearing people that aren't particularly close to me, I use Hearing Impaired for most functional purposes, like someone giving a seminar and I'm asking where they like to stand, so I can plan my seating.
With new hearing people that aren't particularly close to me, I use Deaf for most social purposes, like, "I'm sorry, can you repeat that? I'm pretty Deaf over here, so I have to see your mouth to understand you."

So, while I recognize that Deaf is a better term for those who are, in fact, Deaf, Hearing Impaired is sometimes an option that an in-between-worlds person like me is best off using. *ducks and covers*


:shock: I follow this, but now my head hurts. This is a lot of info, but spot on!
 

Grummer

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I personally disagree. as a Deaf and disabled person, our hearing is only "impaired" due to the failure of society to accommodate us.

um, wrong, "impaired" is termed because of the biological impairment not the societal impairment, > that is 'disability' because society DISABLES you, worded differently, society prevents you from being a person or doing things what YOU want to be, or do, because society thinks you can't or shouldn't, consciousnessly, or unconsciousnessly otherwise.
 

deafgam

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I am who I am, ...Deaf. My Deafness is my strength in my daily life. My Deafness allows me to hear with my eyes. It allows me to view a sea of brilliant colors, hear dancing falling leaves, the voice on a childs face . My Deafness allows me to hear the wrinkles on the hands of an old grandma, i can hear a bird fly, yep, I am Deaf people. I AM ABLE. I will not be called impaired. For I can do and hear more than any hearing person with my Deaf ears any day! For I am so proudly Deaf.
 

green427

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Pythias' reply pretty much sums it up. Good one.

For me, it depends on who I am talking to.

"Hearing Impaired" is too vague of a description to people who have zero experience dealing with the deaf.

I have found that if I say "H.I." to strangers, they have a puzzled look on their face, and proceed to mumble, look the other way, etc, as if I was just another weird guy.

If I say "Deaf", most people have that look of bewilderment, surprise, or in some cases genuine horror, followed with the usual "I'm so sorry".....but, they seem to get the message, and proceed to treat me differently.

Just about every hearing person I know says that they've been told that the word "Deaf" is offensive. I usually tell them that it is not classified with insulting words like "retarded" or "harelip", but more of a medical term like "blind".

Sadly, using blunt words is sometimes the only way to get through people, especially with people that don't have English as their primary language.
 
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