Deafness, re-imagined in a cultural and social vacuum, would not be a disability. But deafness in a hearing world is disabling. Not all of that is directly related to the inability to hear.
A recent post briefly referenced the social model of disability. It used this neat summary:
“The social model of disability identifies systemic barriers, negative attitudes and exclusion by society (purposely or inadvertently) that mean society is the main contributory factor in disabling people.” –Wikipedia
Rachel Kolb’s TEDx talk never explicitly references the social model of disability. Nevertheless, some of the information Ms. Kolb provides, particularly the surprising statistics on outcomes for deaf children born to deaf parents compared with those born to hearing parents, can be seen as evidence of our society disabling people in unexpected and completely unnecessary ways.
I also want to suggest this video which provides excellent advice for hearing people on how to communicate with deaf people and those who are hard of hearing:
If you have an interest in learning more about this topic, there are plenty of resources out there, it’s not just limited to video media. Youtubers however can offer some insight by uploading advice, examples of daily life and their personal experiences. Just bear in mind that no one person is representative of an entire community.
The playlist below provides a sample of those videos. It ranges from people delivering personal experiences and opinions, to explanations of assistive technology that people may use. And if you’re wondering what assistive technology means in a broader sense, here’s a video for that too.
Rachel Kolb on Lip Reading – Standford Magazine