What is the difference between a person who is “deaf” or “hard of hearing”?
A deaf person is someone who is completely unable to hear sounds in one or both ears. A Hard-of-hearing” can denote a person with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
The term “people with hearing loss” is inclusive and efficient. Over the years, the most commonly accepted terms have come to be “Deaf,” and “Hard-of-hearing.”
Why is it wrong to use terms such as “deaf-mute,” “deaf and dumb,” or “hearing-impaired”?
Such terms are outdated and offensive and no longer accepted by most in the community. Media and the general public should refrain using such words too. “Mute” also means silent and without voice. This label is technically inaccurate, since deaf and hard of hearing people generally have functioning vocal chords. In fact, some have very good speech. Others might have limited or unclear speech, but they are certainly not mute.
In the deaf community, the preferred and accurate terms are ‘’deaf’’ or ‘’hard-of-hearing’’, in line with local and internationally accepted guidelines.
Is there a social stigma against the deaf?
Social stigma is not the correct term to be used. We find that society as a whole has been more encouraging and inclusive. However, there is a lack of understanding of the deaf culture and inability to communicate with the deaf whose mode of communication is mainly by sign language.