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Question — What is wrong with the use of these terms “deaf-mute,” “deaf and dumb,” or “hearing-impaired”?
Deaf and hard of hearing people have the right to choose what they wish to be called, either as a group or on an individual basis.
Yet there are many people who persist in using terms other than “deaf” and “hard of hearing.” The alternative terms are often seen in print, heard on radio and television, and picked up in casual conversations all over.Again, because deaf and hard of hearing people use various methods of communication other than or in addition to using their voices, they are not truly mute.True communication occurs when one’s message is understood by others, and they can respond in kind.The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, pronounced us “deaf and dumb,” because he felt that deaf people were incapable of being taught, of learning, and of reasoned thinking.To his way of thinking, if a person could not use his/her voice in the same way as hearing people, then there was no way that this person could develop cognitive abilities.
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Hearing-impaired – This term is no longer accepted by most in the community but was at one time preferred, largely because it was viewed as politically correct.