The terms hearing impaired and hearing impairment are general terms used to describe people with a range of hearing loss from impairment partial to complete. The terms are disliked by many because, like the word handicap, hearing impaired describes a person in terms of a deficiency or what they cannot do. The World Federation of the Deaf has taken the stance that hearing impaired is no longer an acceptable term.
For those with total hearing loss, deaf is acceptable. For others, partial hearing loss or partially deaf is preferred. It is best to ask the person which term he or she prefers.« Back to Glossary Index