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Although some individuals in the deaf community use this term, it is generally unpopular among Deaf people. Many do not see their hearing loss as a handicap or impairment, and some are even proud of their inability to hear. This was one of the first terms created during the American frenzy to be politically correct, and at the time many deaf people were perplexed by the word and some found it insulting to be called "impaired."

What, then, is more appropriate than hearing-impaired? Most members of the deaf community prefer to be called Deaf, no matter how much hearing they have or whether they use hearing aids. Typically the word "deaf" is used for those who are profoundly deaf, and individuals with residual hearing are commonly called hard of hearing. While some hard of hearing people do use hearing aids, the devices are by no means "required." Even when hearing aids or cochlear implants are used, they will never completely "overcome" an "impairment" (which, again, many Deaf individuals do not feel exists).

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