There are different angles from which you can view the condition of deafness.
The lack of hearing can be devastating for many.
A person who is said to be deaf has impaired hearing or lacks hearing power.
Generally, it is easy to conclude that being deaf is a considerable disadvantage.
Humans generally tend to lean towards the negative side of things. You might have never thought about the positives of being deaf.
Perhaps you have never even given either the advantage or disadvantage of being deaf a thought.
It is essential to have a balanced view of matters.
This article examines both sides of being deaf – the advantages and the disadvantages.
Keep reading for more information.
Table of Contents
- Pros of Being Deaf
- Disadvantages of Being Deaf
Pros of Being Deaf
Anyone could derive opportunities from every obstacle.
Several deaf people have made constructive impacts on others by leveraging their advantages.
You will find some benefits of being deaf below.
The Medical Advantage
The introduction and evolution of hearing technologies over the years have had significant benefits for the deaf.
Hearing aids, Cochlear implants, and other assistive listening devices have various advantages.
The ability to control sounds or noise in terms of volume is merit for deaf people. No hearing person can do that.
From the standpoint of humor, a deaf person can turn off their hearing aid to gain some quiet moments or probably reduce the hearing volume.
Some hearing aids come with highly developed sound processing and features that can be personalized for use by the deaf individual.
Development of Resilience
Adjusting well in the face of the trauma, limitations, and challenges is a feat not everyone can attain. Resilience is a special skill that deaf people have had to build.
Developing techniques and responses to their limitations of being unable to hear is an incredible feat.
An average deaf person has achievements, has been through high school, communicates well with others, and is not left out of society.
The Sign Language Advantage
Although there are several communication barriers when it comes to relating to hearing people, it is easy to communicate using sign languages.
Unlike spoken languages, sign languages can be learned within a short period.
Also, foreign deaf individuals can communicate easily regardless of sign language differences.
There is also the International Sign (IS). International relations are more accessible between deaf people.
Using sign language encourages the development of patience and listening skills.
A fun fact is that sign languages can be used underwater despite a reasonable distance between both people.
Within the deaf community, the inability to hear is not considered a limit.
There is an emphasis on socialization as the deaf community has several local and national associations, sports activities, and even unity on an international level.
The fostering of relationships within the deaf community leaves deaf people with significant advantages. The provision of support and love is just a part.
The ability to communicate with each other is not limited, and this fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance to deaf individuals.
Access to Social Welfare
Social security services are structured to impact people living with disabilities positively.
Upon meeting the requirements, a deaf individual can receive the Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) or the Supplementary Security Income (SSI).
There are also disability grants and benefits for deaf individuals.
With these effective welfare structures in place, deaf people have an advantage.
The Technological Advantage
The advancements in technology have made a positive impact on the deaf community.
Some TTY devices (TeleType), TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf), and TT (Text Telephones) have made communicating via telephones easy for deaf people as they can type and have conversations.
With these devices, the internet and social media platforms have also been made easy to navigate for deaf people.
There are speech-to-text options for videos and other features that require a hearing.
Video calls can also be made for those who want to communicate via sign language.
Disadvantages of Being Deaf
As much as there are advantages to being deaf, there are also demerits to being deaf.
Communication Limitations with Others
Not everyone can communicate or relate effectively with deaf individuals.
Several factors must be put in place before effective communication occurs with a deaf person.
Factors like the absence of noise, well-lighted environment, and absence of distractions.
Sometimes, it is not possible to put all of these in place.
Hence, making it difficult to carry out conversations and also give and receive information effectively.
Slow Language Development
This is due to loss of hearing ability. Difficulty in speaking and also in learning to read well.
Slow Social Development
This is especially true for children born with deafness.
There might be a lack of acceptance by children of the same age group due to the differences and lack of fluency in sign language.
This could lead to social isolation and awkwardness, especially between deaf children and others.
Feeling isolated can lead to depression and loneliness in deaf individuals. This will cause a general mental health decline.
With deaf individuals who were born hearing and acquired a loss of hearing, there is a high rate of psychological distress due to the negative attitudes of others and also feelings of isolation.
This could increase several factors such as insomnia, guilt, feelings of shame, loss of self-confidence and self-worth, loneliness, social anxiety, distress, and withdrawal.
The impact of these factors is quite sad.
Work and Financial Impact
The increased automation of many work functions has left deaf workers at a disadvantage.
This development is in addition to most employers’ resistance to hiring deaf individuals leading to limited roles for the deaf.
The work-life of most deaf people are affected, hence, limiting their earning capacity. This could lead to a negative impact on their overall financial lives.
Being unable to afford bills and other necessities could be devastating for anyone.
Many situations could render a deaf person vulnerable.
The deaf person is at a disadvantage in areas of personal safety where there is a reliance on sounds for important information.
A deaf person cannot hear fire alarms or announcements at the airport.
This could make it a high risk for them to venture out alone without aid.
Impact on Education
Relating with teachers and fellow students could be challenging for deaf people.
Participating in discussions, watching verbal lesson demonstrations, field trips, and other means of instruction is not an easy task for deaf students.
This can hurt grades and cause other adverse effects on the deaf student.