December 14, 2018
An inclusive way to describe people with hearing issues
The Commonwealth Government has created a special committee to develop a Roadmap (plan) that sets out future directions and priorities for addressing the social and economic costs of hearing loss, deafness and ear and balance disorders.
Deafness Forum of Australia is a member of this committee and speaks on behalf of people with a lived experience and for the not for profit organisations that support them.
There are other members that represent peer groups, information providers, hearing health practitioners and service providers, hearing device manufacturers, colleges and societies, experts in Indigenous ear and hearing health; and the Department of Health.
While the work on the Roadmap (plan) continues, a sticking point is finding the right terminology that is inclusive of all people with hearing issues. (This uncertainty does not include people who are Deaf and whose language is Auslan.)
For many, it might be a matter of very little consequence or perhaps it is an irritation, but it is important that this Government committee uses the proper terminology.
To try to sort this out, Deafness Forum was asked to conduct a national survey to find what are the most popular and appropriate words that can be used to describe a person who has a hearing loss, or deafness, or whatever you think it should be called.
In this very short but important survey, we will ask you to tell us what word, words or phrase(s) you would be comfortable with.
It is important to note that we are asking you to tell us about yourself and not your opinion about other people who might have a different hearing issue.
There will also be an opportunity to record your comments. We expect that many will say that labels are not helpful, but we do need to be specific about who will be the focus of government policy and actions in relation to hearing health and wellbeing.
Start the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PXZT2GP
Article republished on behalf of Deafness Forum of Australia.