Self-perception

4

March 5, 2014 by alansoh79

Without my hearing aid/cochlear implant devices, I can still hear sounds, such as heavy vehicles driving past me, alarm clocks ringing, aeroplanes flying over my head, kitchen utensils dropping onto the floor etc. As long as the sounds I hear are heavy and loud, not light and soft.

Thankfully I am not intellectually disabled. I am able-bodied, can execute many tasks, understand/do decent conversations with people without my hearing devices, as long as I am able to do lip-reading, hand gesturing, paper-writing and catch sounds if possible.

My preferred modes of communication are email, SMS or Whatsapp or face-to-face conversation. My limitation is about phone-calls only. I may not hear well over the phone.

Sometimes I think I am weird. Why?

This is because I always go around telling people that I am hearing-impaired, in which I observe that the some of the hard-of-hearing Singaporeans actually prefer to call themselves “deaf” because the term “hearing-impaired” is perceived as a NEGATIVE word which could possibly make them look “deaf, mute and dumb” among others.

Rather, they are proud and happy to say they are deaf.

A easy straight-forward 4-letter word.

They don’t call themselves hearing-impaired.

However in my personal viewpoint, I thought: if I call myself deaf, it seems like I am condemning myself. No no no. So as such, I conclude that a “better nicer word to use” is HEARING-IMPAIRED.

It boils down to self-perception. Honestly speaking, I just can’t imagine going around telling people “I-am-deaf.” Maybe I personally thought “DEAF” is a very negative word to describe myself. It sounds alot like self-bashing. This is exactly how I feel about it.

I prefer to use more positive words to describe myself. Talking about constructing a positive public self-image.

It has been so far so good that the people whom I have had met in life treated me with due respect. You respect people, in turn they will respect you too.

Thinking further.. Ok ok. maybe I should probably use this term instead – “hearing-challenged“? It sounds better, am I right?

Am I weird? I hope not.

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4 thoughts on “Self-perception

  1. mak says:

    You are hard-of-hearing not Deaf (those who share the same culture & language: sign language). Hearing impaired is a term for those people who has hearing loss used for medicine purpose.

  2. alansoh79 says:

    Thanks for your reply.
    I am hard-of-hearing? Hmm…

  3. MJ says:

    We tend to use the term ‘hard of hearing,’ as mak mentioned. You are free to label yourself however you want to and you should only change it if you are comfortable doing so. If you identify culturally with the deaf, you can call yourself Deaf, which signifies cultural connections, and still be hearing, hard of hearing, or whatever term you decide on.

    Hearing impaired does bear negative connotations to many HoH and deaf/Deaf people, but I can see how deaf may feel negative to you, as well.

    Hope you get it all sorted out 🙂

  4. alansoh79 says:

    Thanks Michael for your thoughts! 🙂

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