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Deaf Glossary
Updated: Monday 29 January 1996
 
Deaf
With a leading upper-case 'D', Deaf denotes the community (which may include some Hearing as well). With a leading lower-case 'd', deaf denotes the medical pathology of profound hearing loss.

Hearing
The analogue to Deaf. With a leading upper-case 'H' Hearing denotes the community. With a lower-case 'h' hearing denotes the ability to acquire sounds.

Hard of hearing
(HOH) Persons with some remaining ability to acquire sounds who do not use a signed language, typically because they are late-deafened adults.

Oralism
An aggressive, imperialistic school of thought that holds that Deafness is a condition to be treated, rather than a culture to be savored. (My personal bias may have shown through. :-)

Sign{ed} language
Any of a number of methods of communication that depend upon hand, arm, and facial gestures. These languages have a complete grammar that allows description of things past, emotions, etc.

Speech-reading
The practice of getting meaning from a person's lip movements; also known as lip-reading. Used mostly by the late-deafened hard-of-hearing, who have a lifetime of contextual hearing understanding of the language being spoken.


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