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.

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