Read: Dear Media: Stop Describing the Deaf as ‘Mute’, by Lydia Callis

Posted on November 6, 2015

American Sign Language interpreter Lydia Callis, who became famous for her interpreting of a storm warning in 2012, has written an insightful piece for the Huffington Post about the media’s habit of describing Deaf people as ‘mute.’ She also discusses other terms in her article, such as ‘hearing impaired.’

When our perspectives on disability began to evolve, so too did the language we use to discuss people who are disabled. While reading news stories about the “deaf, mute girl” in mainstream American outlets, however, I can’t help but feel like we’ve transported a half century backwards in our acceptance of deafness.

The phrase “deaf-mute” is problematic, and it is not an appropriate way to discuss a person. Calling someone “mute” silences them and strips them of their agency — it sticks a label on them that devalues their autonomy. Mute is a loaded term which carries the distinct connotation that people who are deaf don’t have anything to say.

Read the full article by clicking here:

The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. 

Find out how to write for us by clicking here, or sign a blog for us by clicking here!

Make sure you never miss a post by finding out how to follow us, and don’t forget to check out what our supporters provide: 


The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. 

Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.

The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:


Posted in: read