Have you engaged in Audism? Are you an Audist—intentional or unintentional?
What is Audism? Audism includes group institutional and group attitudes, pratices, and oppresion of deaf people. It’s the concept that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear, and that deaf people should attempt to be like the hearing people as much as it is possible to be. Basically, to deaf people, adism is similar as racism or sexism, except instead of being judged because of your race or sexual preference, you are judged on your ability to hear.
Examples of Audism:
—Parents refusing to use sign language in the home and forcing their deaf or hard of hearing child to lipread and use speech
—Hearing people who know at least some sign language, but refuse to use it and instead speak loudly because the deaf person “can hear and speak to some degree”
—Focusing on Hearing Aids and other methods to “fix” a deaf person and make them more Hearing/oral
—Not using sign language in the presence of a deaf person, excluding a deaf person from an activity because they “can’t hear”
—Expecting a deaf person to be able to lipread
—Expecting a deaf or hard of hearing person to work harder to fit into Hearing Culture, or telling them they would be better off living among other deaf people
Other examples of Audism:
—“Oh, you speak so well! I would never have guess you were deaf!”
—“You need to focus more and try harder to read lips.”
—“If Hearing people frustrate you, maybe you should just be more involved in the deaf community or go to a deaf school.”
—“Giving a child a cochlear implant would improve their quality of life.”
Have you engaged in Audism? Are you an Audist?
Audism is discrimination.
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