Revisiting Audism

Alison Aubrecht
Revisiting Audism
Though by now many of you will have already be aware of what I am about
to include in my article, there are still numerous people who would
benefit from an introduction to the word Audism. So, keeping in mind
that some of us believe that deaf people, too, are capable of being
audists, here are two quotes to contemplate. They are from Harlan Lane’s
THE MASK OF BENEVOLENCE. I encourage you to respond with your thoughts.
“Audism is the corporate institution for dealing with deaf people,
dealing with them by making statements about them, authorizing views of
them, describing them, teaching about them, governing where they go to
school and, in some cases, where they live; in short, audism is the
hearing way of dominating, restructuring, and exercising authority over
the deaf community.” (p. 43)
“What would become of the audist establishment if deaf people were
allowed to educate deaf children using their most fluent language, the
language of their nation’s deaf community? What would become of the
audist establishment if deaf children who chose not to wear hearing aids
were no longer required to do so; if deaf people were so well educated
that they required rehabilitation serves as infrequently as hearing
people? The answer is that if cultural deafness were accepted by hearing
professionals, the practices of some would only be slightly affected;
many otologists, audiologists, and hearing aid specialists, for example,
treat primarily hearing people who have become deaf, frequently late in
life. Other audists, however, would be more crucially affected: This
group includes teachers of deaf children, school psychologists and
administrators, and rehabilitation specialists.” (p. 49)
The Tactile Mind Weekly #32 (see previous post for more info).

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