No Need to Be ‘Fixed’
[“Unlikely Lobbyists,” Spring/Summer 2015] was a great article on policy implementation. I just want to point out for your readers’ sake that despite what the article says, deafness/hearing loss is not a disease. It is a characteristic of an individual and cannot be acquired via transmission of any method. The norm in medicine has long been to “fix” and “treat” deafness. Many people don’t realize that the deaf community is considered a linguistic minority by the National Institutes of Health, and that many deaf individuals take pride in their culture and do not wish to be “fixed.”
As diverse as the medical profession is, medical providers should not actively seek to “fix” deaf patients, but rather focus on their overall health and well-being, and learn to embrace a unique linguistic community.
Kyle DeCarlo Gahagan
Deaf Student, Bloomberg School of Public Health
Master of Public Policy, 2017
Co-founder, Deaf Health Initiative