Deafhood, coined by Paddy Ladd (2003), is defined as "a process by which Deaf individuals come to actualize their Deaf identity, positing that these individuals construct that identity to their heightened forms by various factors such as nation, era, and class."
Deafhood is in; deafness is out. Unlike the term "deafness" with its negative connotation, the term "Deafhood" comes with a positive whole perspective of humanhood. Below highlights some metaphysical differences between "Deafhood" and "deafness" based on a collective definition and discourse of the Deaf communities.
Cartoon by Matt and Kay Daigle.
"Deafhood is not seen as a finite state but as a process by which Deaf individuals come to actualize their Deaf identity, positing that those individuals construct that identity around several differently ordered sets of priorities and principles, which are affected by various factors such as nation, era and class." -- Dr. Paddy Ladd.
"Deafhood means a process, a journey for all Deaf people. It is not a measurement who is Deaf and who is not. It is a process of becoming the best Deaf human being one can become." -- Genie Gertz.