The word deaf, can have very different meanings based on the background of the person speaking or the context in which the word is used. The term is commonly used to mean having profound hearing impairment, a physiological condition causing an inability to receive or process aural stimulation, i.e., sound.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) is one of the Institutes that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH is the Federal government's focal point for the support of biomedical research. NIH's mission is to uncover new knowledge that will lead to better health for everyone. Simply described, the goal of NIH research is to acquire new knowledge to help prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat disease and disability. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.