In the Deaf community, the word “audism” has started to appear on a regular basis. But what is it exactly? First coined in 1976 by renowned scholar Tom Humphries, he defines audism as “the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or to behave in the manner of one who hears, or that life without hearing is futile and miserable, or an attitude based on pathological thinking which results in a negative stigma toward anyone who does not hear.”
Audism exists in many different ways, some explicit and others not so explicit. For a quick primer on how audism is performed, here’s a public video available at Facebook.
Communciation Service of the Deaf (CSD) also recently released a film, “Meant to Be.” [link: http://csdvisionfilms.com/films/meant-to-be/]. The story shared in this fictional film is one echoed by so many Deaf people, including me. The only differences are that I never had a cochlear implant, and my parents started to learn sign language as soon as they learned I was Deaf – thankfully!
On the career front, I’ve experienced countless incidents of audism, unfortunately. When I owned a guided hiking tour company, I encountered different challenges, such as misconceptions about my abilities and even intelligence as a Deaf person. Eventually, this audism led to the closure of my company [link: https://referralsbyrobb.com/ceo-made-decision]; However, the experiences I had while operating the company were for the most part wonderful. Even the challenges were fantastic life lessons, and I look forward to what lies ahead of me.
Let’s work together to end audism!
A recommended novel: