"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Compromise of Terms

There have been some interesting discussions over the terminology between "hard of hearing" and "hearing impaired". It seems it has to be one or the other. In fact, I recently saw a survey on Facebook asking which term people like to use best.

On one hand, we have the argument some prefer "hard of hearing" over "hearing impaired" because they feel that to use the word "impaired"  implies something is wrong with them as a person. Still others prefer the term "hearing impaired" because they feel their hearing isn't working as it used to, therefore their ears have become "impaired", similar to vision impairment. A few people voice that they would prefer to be an "impaired" person over a "hard" person.

Let's get a little more practical with this, shall we?

Why don't we say those born with hearing loss, but not to the degree of deafness, are simply hard of hearing.

For those who once had better hearing, and are now experiencing hearing loss, let's use the term "hearing impaired", because, quite frankly, their hearing has become impaired.

Why not incorporate these terms and respect the choice each individual person chooses in referring to the matter of the status of their ears, and include those terms, just as "deaf" and "Deaf" are used for differentiation.

This makes sense to me. Let's not squabble over simple things like this to where we become disconnected from one another, even discriminating. It's time for acceptance and respect, perhaps even a simple compromise of terms.


  1. I hate when I hear these kind of chats too. I just wonder how it all starts though. Like you say, and I do agree, I don't think we should be arguing over it. We should each respect what each person labels themselves.

  2. Have a wonderful weekend, Liz. It's always good to see you drop in the comment box. :-)