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Deaf. Deaf just describes a quality about the person. But "hearing impaired," while it may sound nicer to some, actually implies that the person has something wrong with them. Plus "impaired" sounds a bit like someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

As for the "hard of hearing," that or "people with hearing loss" are the preferred terms. Saying "deaf and hard of hearing people" is good for speaking more collectively about both groups.

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Q: What is the Politically correct way of saying deaf?
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