deaf, Deaf or hard of hearing

Posted by Cara Jordan on 3/15/2018

Hi Ms. Jordan! My name is Kasey and I am in 4th grade. I was just wondering, if you are deaf in one ear and still have a little bit of hearing in the other ear [like I am] are you deaf or hard of hearing? Thank you!


Good questions, Kasey! Although people have varying levels of hearing, how they choose to identify themselves is really up to them. Some people whose audiograms would show profound deafness, might identify as being hard of hearing and likewise, someone whose audiogram shows a moderate level of hearing could identify as Deaf or deaf. When someone uses a capital D for "Deaf", it means that they identify as a culturally Deaf person who uses ASL to communicate. People who use lower case d for "deaf" may also use ASL but they use the label that indicates that they have a loss of hearing. Some people who are able to use hearing aid or cochlear implants to access sound well, still prefer not to use "hard of hearing" because they feel people think they can hear just fine with their hearing aids or implants and as you know,thats not really true. Some people still use "hearing impaired" but it's really an offensive term because the word "impaired" is very negative and says something is wrong. So, you can choose to identify yourself any way that you want! You are uniquely you and hearing status is just a characteristic, not all that you are! I can think of lots of things that you are: smart, talented, creative, resilient, adventurous...