Ableism of Those Who Are Deaf: Discriminationa and Exclusion of Disabilities

1774 Words 8 Pages
Ableism is defined as, “the all-encompassing discrimination and exclusion of people living with disabilities” (Adams et al, 461). However, in order to determine if ableism is occurring, then one must first know what constitutes a disability. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, someone has a disability if they have a considerable handicap that hinders the actions that are important for life, such as “walking, seeing, hearing, learning, speaking, breathing, standing, lifting, or caring for one’s self” (Adams et al, 461). Disabled people make up the largest minority in the world with their estimated population at 650 million people (Adams et al, 461). Of this 650 million people, 360 million people have some sort of disabling hearing loss, which is over five percent of the world population ("Deafness and Hearing Loss"). Defined specifically, a person with enough hearing loss to be considered disabled has, “hearing loss greater than 40dB in the better hearing ear in adults and a hearing loss greater than 30dB in the better hearing ear in children” ("Deafness and Hearing Loss"). Anyone who does not meet these standards may therefore be automatically considered to be hearing or non deaf. In the United States, the total prison population is estimated at 2.4 million (Klein and Soltas). Of this prison population, it is impossible to know how many people are deaf or hearing impaired as prisons do not tend to keep records of this information. However, experts state…