Where do you belong? Deaf community or hearing community?


As people with hearing loss, we are in a unique position, caught between the deaf community and the hearing world.

What do you identify with?

I personally identify with the hearing world, because my family and friends are not hard of hearing.


My hearing was always excellent and I only started noticing it deteriorating over the last 20 years, so I still identify with the hearing world. I don’t actually know anyone who is completely deaf.


Definitely the hearing community. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to understand signing quickly enough for it to ever be useful. I have tried to learn a little bit but I’m just too slow at it. Just glad hearing aids provide a good result for me. Hopefully I will never have to find out what it is like to lose too much more hearing.


I’ve had a 60-70% SHL in my left ear. Due to the way I was born with some floppiness of eardrums, I’ve always struggled in some conversations. Voices appear loud enough but can sound like mumbling. My operations and aid on my left has really helped this but I still struggle especially my “good” ear is still the same.

I watch shows/movies with the subtitles on about 40% of the time. I’ve seriously thought about learning sign language both for fun and to possibly help me with my family and it’s sometime hard for me to identify the source of sounds.

Although I’m part of the hearing world, I lean towards the deaf community.


What you see happening to “Amy” in this 2 minute vignette epitomizes what we go through in life, as we are trapped between the Hearing and Deaf worlds: Hearing people treat us as Deaf (and often being condescending in the process); while ASL Deafies can’t stand us because we aren’t a member of their exclusive clique…


I was born with a profound hearing loss and went thru public hearing schools. All my friends have normal hearing. After high school, l went to NTID deaf tech college and dropped out after 1.5 years. All classes were full of deaf people and the teachers used sign language only and did not speak during class. It didn’t work out.


Even if I should lose all my hearing, I will still consider myself part of the hearing community. A lot of those born with any hearing don’t consider it a handicap. That they have been able to live happy, successful lives in spite of this is remarkable. But, it is still a handicap. Even with my level of hearing loss, I consider myself mildly handicapped. I cannot go to a movie and enjoy it like people with normal hearing. I don’t watch anything on TV that doesn’t have captioning. I consider that a handicap. But I still do hear a lot of other things.


I always describe myself as hard of hearing because despite a severe hearing loss I still get some help from my hearing aids.

Yet in a lot of ways I suppose that I’m deaf because I can’t hear speech without my aids.

I have friends who are deaf and hearing and a lot in between in the twilight world of the hard of hearing.

I do use sign language because even with hearing aids I still don’t hear or understand a lot of what is said, and when with deaf friends who all sign, then it’s the easiest way of communicating.


I am “Amy” too. I was born with profound hearing loss, but I live in hearing world. As I am lip reader, and I don’t know any sign language, I stuck between two worlds. Yes, it causes depression sometimes, but I have no any other way.


I read lips but don’t sign, so I identify more with the hearing community. When I go to meetings that are predominantly geared for the deaf community, I feel even more on the outside of a tight-knit group.


Same here. It took me a while to understand that some ppl just effortlessly gets the context of a song. However it is hard for me. I can only understand what they sing about if the song “speech” is very clear. However i still enjoy music a lot, but much more about the melody and tunes. Maybe why I like movie music so much :slight_smile:

As for the main topic: I would consider myself a part of the hearing community. I would love to learn to read lips, but as of right now I can’t.


mostly both here actually!