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How people “label” or identify themselves is personal and may reflect identification with the deaf and hard of hearing community (or not), the degree to which they can hear, or the relative age of onset.
For example, some people identify themselves as “late-deafened,” indicating that they experienced a loss of hearing later in life. Some people believe that the term “people with hearing loss” is inclusive and efficient. However, some people who were born deaf or hard of hearing do not think of themselves as having lost their hearing. Over the years, the most commonly accepted terms have come to be “Deaf” for those who use Sign Language, “deaf” and “hard of hearing.”
Hearing Loss Cornwall is here to offer support to EVERYONE who is affected by any degree of hearing loss. We offer a vital support to those who can find themselves isolated and cut off from social contact, even within their own family.
Hearing Loss is a medical, emotional, and psychological issue and all these factors can compound. “I cannot go on coping and pretending there is nothing wrong!”
Familiar comments include: "I find it too humiliating to try to mix with people so I have become a recluse." “People at work sometimes think I am stupid!”
Or, "My husband and I have no social life because he hates going out. If we do, he can't cope and although I try to understand, we end up having a row. The strain is ruining our marriage."
Or simply "There's no point trying, I'm never going to be able to keep up with the conversation. It's just too exhausting".
American author Helen Keller, the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, struck a familiar chord for many when she said “Deafness, means the loss of the most vital stimulus – the sound of the voice – that brings language, sets thought’s astir, and keeps us in the intellectual company of man”.
So, if you are deaf or live with hearing loss and would like to see what support is available, do not hesitate to contact us. Or, if you have a family member or friend who is deaf or has hearing loss and would like to find out more about how you can best support them, we are here to help you too!