The beauty of deafness is that it is a diverse (minority) group with various personalities, characters and even different labels.
The main labels or sub-categories that are associated under deafness can be (but not necessarily limited to) as follows:
- hard of hearing
- Deaf & Disabled/deafdisabled
- hearing impaired
Although some people may fit into one over others, there are issues and debates on whether these labels causes discriminations and segregations within the group. This has been discussed in a separate post (and in the video below) where I share my personal viewpoint on the definition of ‘deaf’.
What I mean when I say “deaf”
To encourage an all-inclusive manner for people who identify themselves as any of the labels mentioned above (and perhaps there are or will be more), this website and myself wants to recognise everyone’s identity. But like anything, an identity can change over time.
On Hear Me Out! [CC], one term will be used to recognise everyone: deaf.
The intention is not to remove any labels or categories. Instead, it is to celebrate the unity of the different types of deaf identities, honour and then subsequently recognise the shared experiences that many of us go through.
Likewise, we are all facing similar or the same challenges in this hearing world, where we have to fight for accessibility, breaking down barriers, removing discrimination and be treated equally.
And we have a better chance of doing that by working together because there is strength in numbers. Separating an already minority group into an even smaller minority group will take longer for us to achieve what we deserve and in need.
This is especially if we end up fighting against each other.
At the same time, should there be a need to focus on specific labels or categories mentioned above, this will be highlighted and mentioned fairly to also honour our differences.
After all, provided that it’s accurate, fair, within reason and used with respect, you decide your label and your identity, not others.
What I would rather not do is to make our differences the deciding factor to segregate the community in an aggressive and discriminatory manner. We will have a better chance of breaking down barriers by working together.
If you have any comments or ideas…
If you have any questions, you want to share your thoughts or you have further ideas, feel free to contact me. You are more than welcome to share anything that you disagree with too, though if they end up being abusive or aggressive, they will not be read.
I hope you can understand and appreciate my viewpoint on the definition of “deaf”.
In the meantime, let’s focus our energy in raising awareness and respecting our identities instead of fighting each other and face further barriers in our already challenging lives.
[Please note that this post will be updated over time so do check over time as I learn more about this topic and gain insights from as many different people as possible]