The Two Views of Deafness

Posted April 5, 2021 by in Health + Fitness

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you see a deaf person?

-Either you feel sorry for, that person or you think it’s “natural.”

So, in either case, you have two points of view!!!

Similarly, in “deaf culture,” there are also two points of view that people express about deaf people:

  1. Pathological View
  2. Cultural View

Deafness or hearing loss can be a pain to many people. And it can be very frustrating and depressing because when you see that you are unable to communicate with people around you, this can indeed be very embarrassing for many people.

Moreover, not everyone can bring themselves up to this “new life.”

Through this article, I’ll illustrate the two views that “deaf culture” has about deaf people. 

What Is The Pathological View?

The pathological view or “the medical view” actually focuses on how to treat deafness. That means this view is ultimately putting its spotlight on “curing deafness.”

This treatment can include cochlear implants or even the use of hearing aids. Other methods might also be taken under consideration, like lipreading and learning speech. 

So the “pathological view” ‘s main objective is to make a deaf person appear “normal” to society. That means this view is wholly focused on “how the society will accept deaf people,” not “deaf people are just like us.”

Those who agree with this view may also think that a deaf person has issues regarding mental stability, learning, or even psychological disorders. 

So what’s wrong if we don’t see them in the eyes of a normal person? 

Just imagine, you have such conditions, and people don’t consider you to be normal. Even your family members try to convince others that you are “normal,” but deep down, even they know you are “not normal”!!!

How would you feel then?

-Yes, it hurts!!! 

Whenever you see a deaf person, don’t consider them differently, and it’s highly appreciable if you don’t even show sympathy. Instead, try to motivate them and tell them that it’s normal. 

What Is The Cultural View?

This view is entirely different from that of the “pathological view.” With this view, the perspective of deaf people is that they consider deafness to be a “unique” aspect rather than a weakness.

They develop sign languages and also view this as a “natural-born” language of deafness. They are not embarrassed with their disability; instead, they feel proud that they are different. And they sometimes call this unity “deaf pride” or “deafhood”!!!

These sorts of people are not afraid to reveal their weakness, and they live their lives just like other ordinary people. Moreover, they have developed such a mindset that they are “proud to be who they are”!!!

Who Grabs What View?

So we just got the differences of what “pathological view’ and “cultural view” is!!! But what sort of views do people actually possess about deaf people?

To be honest, it varies from person to person. Some might take this as a “disability,” and some might consider it to be “normal.”

Let’s be more precise with two hypothetical examples.

Example-1:  

Suppose you have a child who’s suffering from hearing loss. 

As a parent, you will take your child to the doctor and go for treatments like cochlear implants or even speech training and lipreading. 

And your only mindset is, “I’ll develop my child’s communication and mentality in such a way that people will not even know that he/she is deaf.”

This can be one of the perspectives of a parent!!!

Example-2 

The same scenario is going to be applied here. For instance, you have a child who’s suffering from hearing loss. 

As a parent, you will take your child to the doctor and go for treatments like cochlear implants or even speech training and lipreading. 

But this time, your mindset is, “I’ll develop my child’s communication and mentality so that he/she can interact with people with confidence, and I don’t care whether people will consider my child to be deaf or not.”

Here, the only aim of you as a parent is to make sure your child can interact with the people around!!!!

The Views of Deaf People

It really can be a pain if you are suffering from hearing loss. 

Just think it like this- you are trying to communicate with your family or friends and not properly hear them.

How would you feel?

Frustrating isn’t!!!!

This is how other deaf people feel. Even they want to dissolve themselves with society. They, too, want people to listen to them. But it doesn’t happen!!! 

When they notice that they cannot present themselves to society, they blame themselves for not being capable enough and consider hearing loss as their biggest weakness. Slowly they turn their backs to the people they love. And cut down any relation with the outside world.

But there are such people as well who make this weakness their biggest weapon and stand back up!!!!! They don’t judge their condition as a problem. Instead, they make it a “part of their life.”

Not only that, they try to communicate with people through various means like hand signs, lipreading, or even with the help of hearing aid devices.

I still remember my grandmother had a hearing loss on both ears; although it was due to her age, she never felt down or complained about her problems. Instead, she took it as a challenge and kept moving forward.

You mustn’t stop and start adjusting yourself to this condition. And soon, you’ll realize that it has become your biggest strength.

Common Remedies For Hearing Loss

One of the common treatments for hearing loss is getting yourself a hearing aid

These devices are specially made for people with severe or mild hearing loss. Hearing devices come in different designs and features. And it can be beneficial to many people. 

But do make sure to take advice from your doctor before purchasing one as he knows better which one is suited for your condition.

I hope this article will help you know the ins and outs of the two views of deafness.