By Raven Heroux
Ever see someone write “d/Deaf” or make a distinction between “deaf” and “Deaf”? Yes? No? No comment? Well, there’s a reason for the big D.
If someone is deaf (little d), then they are “hearing impaired” (the politically correct term for the whole spectrum of deafness). Which, medically speaking, means they do not have perfect hearing, ranging from hard-of-hearing to profoundly deaf.
If someone is Deaf (big D!), then they are culturally Deaf. It is an identity, one that holds pride. The inability to hear is not a sole factor. In fact, you can be hearing and Deaf. Deafness is a culture, with customs, a language, a community, and a way of life. Deaf people do not believe they are disabled; their way of life just differs from the hearing community’s.
Want to experience life the way d/Deaf people experience it in a hearing world? Northeastern University is hosting “Deaf Deaf World” this month, February 23. No voices allowed–only signing! Go to the bank, visit the travel agency, get a tattoo, and order food at a cafe! Here’s your chance to communicate with d/Deaf people through pseudo-real life experiences.