Is Deaf A Disability

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Is Deaf a Disability?

Is being Deaf really a disability? Most people in the hearing world would say yes, while those in the Deaf world would give a resounding no. The definition of a disability according to wikipidea.org, “a disability is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these. A disability may be present from birth, or occur during a person 's lifetime.” According to this definition, being deaf would be considered a disability. However, Deaf people do not consider themselves to be disabled. Bill Vicars writes in his blog on lifeprint.com that “Being Deaf isn 't about having a disability. It is about navigating through life with your eyes and hands,” and that "Deafness doesn 't have to be a disability. The knowledge, habits, and approaches to life used by members of the culturally Deaf community allow a person to live without needing to hear. Thus the ability or lack of ability to hear can be made to not matter." Vicars points out that a disability is the lack of not being able to do something, but that is it only a disability if it hinders your ability to do everyday tasks. Being Deaf does not hinder deaf people from doing what hearing people do. Deaf people can do everything that hearing people do, except hear.
So, the question is where is the line between being Deaf and being disabled? “A disability is a limitation of function because of impairment. Deaf people are limited in some functions because of an impairment of hearing. Therefore, Deaf people have a disability (Lane).” To a hearing person when they look at a Deaf person, all they see is the disability. However, a disability does not make a person, and the lack of hearing certainly doesn’t slow down a Deaf individual. Being Deaf is not a disability because the lack of hearing does not hinder the Deaf individual, but rather opens their eyes and hands to a greater, more accepting world. In my experience,



Cited: Disability. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disability Lane, H. (n.d.). Do Deaf People Have a Disability? Retrieved March 17, 2015, from https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/sign_language_studies/v002/2.4lane.pdf Vicars, B. (n.d.). Is being Deaf a disability? Retrieved March 17, 2015, from http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/topics/disability-deafness.htm

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