ASL University


 Labels in the Deaf Community:


List of Terms: Deaf Community Labels

 

deaf- a medical term used to describe a person with a hearing loss such that talking and hearing are not efficient for typical daily communication.

 

Deaf- the label given to a person with a hearing loss who is a member of the Deaf community (meaning uses sign language to communicate and regularly interacts with other Deaf people)

 

Hard-of-hearing (HOH) - a label given to a person with a mild to moderate hearing loss; can be both a medical or cultural label

 

Late-deaf- (Late deafened) (ALDA: a late deafened adult, the acronym comes from the Association of Late Deafened Adults), someone who becomes deaf later in life; can be considered a member of the Deaf community if they choose to learn sign language.

 

Hearing/Hearie- a hearing person, a person who can hear.

 

“THINK-HEARING”- ("hearing in the mind," "Hearing in the head") an insulting term used to describe a deaf person who prefers to "act Hearing," “thinks like a Hearing person” or “wants to be hearing.”

 

Deaf community- the collection of Deaf and hearing people that use American Sign Language (or the indigenous signed language of their locale) to communicate with each other and have the knowledge of the culture of the Deaf World

 

Deaf World- the label used to describe the “cultural environment” of the Deaf community; often used to describe the behavioral norms that are followed when Deaf people gather together

 

Deaf House- a home that has been set up with various technological assistance devices to make the home visually rather than auditorily-friendly

 

Deaf-of-Deaf- the label given to a person who is Deaf and has Deaf parents (Deaf-of-Deaf-of-Deaf would mean with Deaf parents and grandparents)

 

CODA- Child of Deaf Adults; a hearing person with one or more Deaf parents

 

SODA- Sibling of Deaf Adults; a hearing person with a Deaf sibling

 

Deaf “institute”- a residential school where Deaf students live and go to school; considered by many to be the heart of the Deaf community

 

Interpreter - a hearing person that facilitates communication between a Deaf person and a hearing person, or a Deaf person that facilitates communication between two Deaf people

 

Notes: 
*  Hat tip to Katie O'Brien for some of the definitions above.

Also see: "What am I?"



 


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