Do deaf identity labels matter? Short answer: Yes, absolutely.
Deaf, deaf, hard-of-hearing, late-deafened, person with hearing loss, hearing-impaired.
Which one is correct? Does it matter?
Indeed, it does matter! Identity and language are critical parts of human existence and the words we choose to use can make all the difference.
Being aware of different identity labels isn’t just important for allies and advocates. In fact, these identity labels can serve to empower people who experience deafness or hearing loss.
There is a myriad of ways to identify, but ultimately, there is no “right answer.” I. King Jordan, the first Deaf president of the only signing university in the Gallaudet University, once said, “There are many ways to be deaf.”
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