HEARING LOSS in sign language

What does 'hearing loss' really mean? The definition is double-sided, really. The first definition is a little dull, but the second definition is quite interesting. :)

ASL signs for 'hearing loss'

How do you say 'hearing loss' in American Sign Language? Here are two ways which are quite the opposite. Start with the one that you're very familiar with.

Meaning: A diminished ability to hear sounds.


Re-framing the concept: deconstruction

Gallaudet University hearing professor Dirksen Bauman refers hearing loss "to the limitations that hearing individuals experience by not being aware of Deaf ways of being in the world." -- Dirksen Bauman, TEXx Gallaudet Talk, "On Becoming Hearing: Lessons in Limitations, Loss, and Respect", 2015.


In other word, it's a hearing person's hearing loss. In other word, ours is Deaf gain (which was coined by deaf British performance artist Aaron Williamson in 2005, later expanded on by Dirksen Bauman and Joe Murray).

Basically, there is no hearing loss. As Deaf, we speak a different language in a different modality. We perceive the world through sight and vibration. We are a lingual-cultural minority. Unlike in hearing culture, we don't use the term, "hearing loss" nor "deafness".

Related signs


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