For the same reason, many people with diabetes don't want to be called "diabetics." The emails we received from those unhappy with the headline touched on this and other points.The AARP fact checker for my column, who was born with hearing loss, pointed out that the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "impaired" as "being in a less than perfect or whole condition: as disabled or functionally defective." "Contrary to the definition, I believe that I am both whole and unable to hear," she wrote in an email.
Should we use the old-fashioned-sounding term "hard of hearing"? Or maybe the cumbersome "people with hearing loss"?
Even some of the major hearing associations can't decide.
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I don't think many people would say, "I am a person with hearing loss." You might say, "I have a hearing loss," or, as I often do, "I have a hearing impairment." However, a number of national organizations have chosen to shift away from using hearing loss altogether in favor of more positive language.
The Hearing Association of New Zealand began as the League for Hard of Hearing.
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"If they want to hide their disability, then why should they feel any entitlement to better services?