Thursday, May 28, 2009

Laundry after Knee Surgery

In Stairs, Laundry, and A TKR, she mentions how she handled the laundry post-TKR. Since I'm in a split level, the steps down to the lower part of the house don't have railings. I just hold onto the corner as I go down sidestep. Rather than a basket, I have a net bag, and roll it down the steps, making sure no one's in the way.

...that plus make sure the cat's not playing with the drawstring...

I still have some trouble in carrying things up the steps, having to put the item a few steps up, step up a few steps, until I'm at the top. For heavier items going up the steps, I'll put it on a small handcart, strap it down, and haul it up one step at a time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

When is Audism Not Audism? - Part 4

So I ask once more, when is audism not audism?

Returning to the definition of audism, it is the belief that hearing and speaking are better than sign language. It is the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears. It is all in the attitude. Hearing people who refuse to do anything other than speak to the deaf person, thinking they'll be understood, may be committing audism or may simply be unfamiliar with how to communicate. Adding to the term confuses and obfuscates the issue even more. Elimination of audism begins with education. Sometimes all it takes is the deaf person doing something with the audist that can change the attitude of the audist.

Bullying, social rejection, and cliques are not audism. They are issues of sociality that are faced by all members of society, no matter what the disability. There is still freedom of speech, but there are rules that must be followed here and there. This is not audism, but rule enforcement. However, Arthur Nonymous in a final comment in Part 2 had a good point.

Being offered tools for hearing better is not audism. It is a choice, to accept or refuse. The underlying hearing loss is still there. Education of the parents and user about the hearing tools is not audism, but informing them of the choices.

Deaf people will still be around, even with hearing assistance devices. Being militant will only make things worse and may cause other hearing people to commit even worse acts of discrimination and/or audism or simply refuse to deal with any deaf person, thus fueling the audism fire.

Monday, May 18, 2009

When is Audism Not Audism? - Part 3

Here's another of Jamie Berke's articles on Deaf Culture - Audism. It's got a lot of good points here including a couple of good links, especially the two resources near the end.

Please do not say that I don't understand. I've been there, done that, got the t-shirt, felt the emotional impact, and then some. I have even talked about my own experiences in my Growing Up Deaf posts (parts 8, 9, and 10) in going to school, having experienced the Oralist vs Manualist fight. I posted Affected Emotionally by the AG Bell Protests? when a recent protest at AGBell in DC brought all the emotions back to the surface. My final post on the Growing Up Deaf serial sums things up.

Just because there is a bill out there for children for hearing aids and CIs doesn't mean it's an audist bill. The person sponsoring it may have the wrong ideas, but it is making more available of these tools to help, whether used or not. It simply means that you're giving the child a chance to hear with a hearing aid or a CI. If they don't help the child, not a problem. They are tools. The child can decide later on if they want to use hearing aids or CIs.

Completely separating ourselves from the hearing world would be a mistake. One would need to deal with the hearing people at some time or another. This is not a time for us to be divided based on the this word's meaning. What unites us is a common theme, our hearing loss. Don't let this become the equivalent of the Civil War, one that nearly destroyed our country.

Next: Part 4

Saturday, May 16, 2009

When is Audism Not Audism? - Part 2

Let's move back in time when the Oralism vs Manualism debate was hotter, and the child was mainstreamed or in a deaf school. For the child who was mainstreamed, there were often issues such as being able to follow along with the lesson and classroom discussion including socialization with peers and classmates. In some schools, especially middle, there is a lot of peer pressure, wanting to fit in, and acceptance/rejection. The kids with disabilities could be instantly rejected the day they joined that school and/or bullied to an extent. With deaf kids who had this issue, this was not audism at all. It was plain ignorance and immaturity on the part of the non-disabled kids and in some cases, adults. Bullying can happen anywhere, regardless of disability.

Refer back to my Growing Up Deaf posts parts 18, 19, 20, and 21 on Teasing and Mistreatment. Again, as I said in the previous paragraph, it was not audism.

In Jamie Berke's article, Worse Than Last...Not at All. - A Growing Up Deaf Memory, she talks of being picked last. I had this exact same thing happen to me, not occasionally, but all the time. That is not audism, but a form of social rejection. You could SEE it in their eyes when I was last to be picked, an "oh crap, we got him" look. There was also another HEARING boy who had this same issue, and team captains often debated who to pick! Yet, the gym teacher did nothing, even though they knew about my deafness! I actually had ONE gym teacher stand up to someone who was really giving me trouble! There was another disabled girl who was in the same middle school as I, who was also rejected. So again, it was not audism, but social rejection. Mix that with immaturity and ignorance...

Remember this relay log in An Example of What Deaf Jobseekers Face? That was not audism. It was a recruiter who wasn't familiar with the relay and got intimidated and nervous by the process.

Next: Part 3

Thursday, May 14, 2009

When is Audism Not Audism? - Part 1

I'm seeing many other deaf call any kind of mistreatment of them audism. It's become too much of a blanket term. But first, before I start, the definition of audism as coined by Tom Humphries in his unpublished 1975 work "The Making of a Word;"

"Audism- (o diz m) n. the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears."

In short, it's the application of hearing ability onto someone who has a hearing loss and may or may not use a hearing assistance device, and expect them to be able to hear well. I have often said that with many deaf, hearing and understanding can easily be two different things. Just because something is heard, if at all, does not mean it will be understood. It stereotypes those with hearing losses. Before I continue;

Audism by Susan F. Crist

She's right about how we've expanded the term. Thus, this is why others have said while others think it's audism, most likely it may not. Wikipedia's definition of audism seems to have a somewhat slanted view.

Think about how blind people feel when a lot of the world is highly visual in this article, Being blind, 'you have to be adventurous'. What would they call it? Visualism? It's quite true our world is highly sensual. This reminds me of a short story by HG Wells, The Country of the Blind where every citizen is blind, and there is no such thing as sight. Now apply this to a country of the deaf, where every citizen is deaf, and there is no such thing as hearing.

There's an interesting parallel to this short story and the hearing/deaf world. Near the end of the story, the blind doctors want to remove his eyes to "cure him."

Next: Part 2