Why Deaf people are not in the Paralympics
According to the Deaflympics, “Among the Deaf community there is overwhelming support for separate Games. Deaf people do not consider themselves disabled, particularly in physical ability. Rather, we consider ourselves to be part of a cultural and linguistic minority. The Deaf athlete is physically able-bodied and able to compete without significant restrictions, with the exception of communication barriers. In team sports and some individual events, hearing loss can be limiting.
However, these restrictions disappear in the Deaflympic Games. The Deaflympic sports and their rules are identical to those of able-bodied (Olympic Games) athletes.
There are no special sports, and the only adaptations are to make auditory cues visible.
For example, Deaflympic Games use strobe lights for starting signals. Among that athletes allowed to compete in the Deaf Games there are no classifications or restrictions except for the requirement that each have a hearing loss of at least 55 decibels in the better ear.”
This explains why Deaf people are not in the Paralympics. In summary, deaf athletes are not seen as disabled. Only hearing problems and when accessible facilities such as flashing lights are in place, deaf people are able to compete in any competitions. Deaf people need sign language communication too during events to make sure communication goes smoothly.
Like the Olympic Games saying, “It is not the winning that matters, but the taking part that counts” – This is important. Should deaf athletes take part with those who are hearing in the Olympic or Paralympic Games, there would be communication issues as Olympic and Paralympic athletes are unlikely to do sign language that breaks down the communication difficulties that are not present in Deaflympic Games.