I’ve been wondering about our name. As well as not being the snappiest of names, “UK Health Professionals with Hearing Loss” isn’t how everyone would like to be described. So, what other suggestions do you have?
Lisa and I anguished over the name when we first set the group up. Both of us were fairly recently deaf so didn’t know the nuances and tensions there have been in the d/Deaf/HoH community/ies. From what we could find out, the official term seemed to be hearing impaired. But neither of us were keen on being labelled impaired. And others seemed to be saying the same. I’d have been happy plumping for deaf as that’s what I’m happy to call myself and I’ve understood it to cover the whole range from someone with a mild dip on the audiogram to flat-line at the bottom. Congenital and acquired, child or adult. But we also knew people comfortable describing themselves as hard of hearing who would not want to be labelled deaf. And then there’s the deaf and Deaf difference as well.
So in the end, we looked at the well-established group in the US, Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Losses. They’d been around for years with a wide variety of members and plenty of experience and deaf awareness. So we thought it safest to follow their lead. In the UK, medical can be read as meaning doctors, rather than encompassing health professions. So we changed that to health. And we weren’t sure about the plural losses. So stuck with loss.
But of course not everyone would view their hearing as lost, especially if it’s been since birth or as early as they can remember. So I’m aware that the name might offend some.
It would also be nice to have something snappier. But I think it’s important the name makes it what the group is. And unless we can come up with a good acrostic, I think we’ll be stuck with a long name.