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Deaf and hard of hearing people have repeatedly proved that they have much to contribute to the society at large.Deaf-Mute – Another offensive term from the 18th-19th century, “mute” also means silent and without voice.(Source: , by Jack Gannon, 1980) In later years, “dumb” came to mean “silent.” This definition still persists, because that is how people see deaf people.
“Hearing-impaired” was a well-meaning term that is not accepted or used by many deaf and hard of hearing people.It’s all about choices, comfort level, mode of communication, and acceptance.Whatever the decision, the NAD welcomes all Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and deaf-blind Americans, and the advocacy work that the NAD does is available to and intended to benefit everyone.Communication is not reserved for hearing people alone, and using one’s voice is not the only way to communicate. Deaf and hard of hearing people have encountered plenty of people who subscribe to the philosophy that if you cannot use your voice well, you don’t have much else “upstairs,” and have nothing going for you.
Obviously, this is incorrect, ill-informed, and false.
As for the political dimension: HOH people can be allies of the Deaf community. They can participate in the social, cultural, political, and legal life of the community along with culturally-Deaf or live their lives completely within the parameters of the “Hearing world.” But they may have a more difficult time establishing a satisfying cultural/social identity.