Many people think that the combination of the words – “hearing impaired” is normal and does not indicate an issue because of the “definition” behind each word. There are people that are Deaf or hard of hearing that prefer to be called hearing impaired because they consider themselves more hearing than deaf.
Hearing Impaired – What’s Wrong With That!
How does that happen?
It has to do with establishment of hierarchy between the hearing community and the Deaf community. As many people do not realize the word impairment is becoming obsolete when defining people with disabilities. Even the word disability is frowned upon these days among other people that are merely different than the norm.
Here are a few things to consider if you call yourself hearing impaired:
Do you consider yourself a subcategory of hearing people? If you do, why do you deserve to be considered equal to them? Remember you consider yourself a sub-category which means you are not as good as them.
It’s like talking to somebody with no legs and telling them they are not able-bodied when with assistance they are able to do things just as good if not better than people with actual legs. So do we call those people physically-impaired?
Lets talk about those with autism. It has become clear that a lot of people with autism or even aspergers are brilliant and their minds just work on different levels than people that aren’t on their level. In other words, they are actually better than people that aren’t in their community at certain things. People merely label them as “special needs” because they don’t understand how they function and don’t want to take the time to understand.
That is what happens when people are boring plain people. As we call them, hearing able-bodied individuals. To be honest, that should be an insult because they don’t have anything that puts them in a category that is special enough to have a standardized label.
Then again, lets go back to the question, why should there be labels in the first place. Labels need to be thrown away and energy needs to be re-shifted into more important things. It’s one thing for people within this community to make jokes and write up funny jabs at each other but it’s another when an ignorant hearing person does it.
In a perfect world there would be no labels. Since this is far from a perfect world, think about what each label means and how it defines you. As a “hearing impaired” person you are a hearing person that is impaired. Good for you for accepting you are disabled but what about when you actually want to go find a job and have to justify that you are just as good if not better than the person next to you who is not “hearing impaired”.
If your employer thought this way, they would not bother talking to you past finding out you’re impaired. There is no way you would be good enough to get a job because clearly you’re an impaired individual and are not equal to every other hearing person out there because they aren’t impaired!
So when a person that calls themselves hearing impaired and then wonders why people don’t respect them, they will feel like this……