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Audism, apparently the label for everything

We have a really stupid situation in the UK right now, where everything left right and centre is labelled as audism.

Domestic violence? = audism
Messed up PHP (website code)? = audism
Just declaring you can't understand BSL = audism
Trolling? = audism


Get me out of this insanity please!

Yes these are all issues in their own right, but it doesn't necessarily mean its audist. In one of the examples above, its the same as saying that with computer code, PHP 5 is racist, and PHP 4 is not. Swop the word racist with audist in the last sentence, and that's exactly what's happening. And that's how illogical this has gotten!

The stupid thing is, when these videos are being labelled on deafread they are being labelled as audism, you start to think the plot is being lost. Okay! Is that to do with a language barrier as BSL is being used (plus not appreciating the real situation over here)? Or are we supposed to weed out the crap from the quality. The problem with this approach, is that 'Best of Deaf Blogs', is deceiving and in conflict with two schools of thought when it comes to aggregation. We are told best of, then presented stuff where everyone is going WTF?

The other thing, what happens when no-one is challenging. I for one do not have the energy nor time to respond to every misinformed sentence. Others feel the same.

Someone said to me this morning, audism is difficult to define and sometimes spot. I agree, but in the same way as racism sometimes is, or the more subtle forms of sexism, especially when it comes to indirect discrimination.

Don't get me wrong, I don't condone audist behaviour and something I've banged on about for years, perhaps not labelled it as such. Some serious work needs to be done to bring this at the forefront of people's minds and perhaps one day the BBC will actually include it in their house rules along with:

Are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable

One can dream that one day See Hear forum will stop being Audist Central. All Deaf people (apart from two) I know in real life, will never go there.

Back to audism. The way the label is being thrown around is exactly the same as Deaf will scream DDA when it either is a) not discrimination or b) DDA isn't applicable, its plain prejudice. Its not helping, especially since you won't get the mainstream to grasp the concept, and actually push it to be a commonly used concept.

In the meantime, give me some brain food, please.

And if you want to read more on Audism, go over to All the Young Dudes.

Comments (36)

I'm going to break the habit of an online lifetime Grumpy, and agree with you ! Thankfully 'Audism' is an American thing, let's hope it stays there. The main issue most take with it, is that 'Audism' contributes to anti-hearing paranoia, and elitist deaf use it against anyone, even other deaf. It's also allied insidiously, with oralism as well, which is entirely a different thing altogther. That's the problem with any new buzz word, you have no control over who uses it or how they use it. Obviously as public deaf enemy number one at SEE HEAR I'll disgaree with the 'audism' tag you have applied to people there, other contributors do NOT blindly share any view I give, (Unlike your blogs and forums I have to say !), they choose for themselves.

This is in fact, an typical example of people using these terms incorrectly and out of their orginal context, something, you just complained about ! So whatis your view then ? 'Deafism' ? Read my blog, isms are dead.

I agree, however I try to keep my mouth shut about it. As a hearie, it's not my place to say so, but, I see the term used in many instances where somebody is just pissed off and doesn't agree with what another person says.

I'm not saying that it doesn't apply often, but sometimes it just doesn't. If somebody disagrees with your opinion, and you get upset about it, that doesn't make their point of veiw Audism. Sorry.

This is just my opinion. I'm nowhere near qualified to make a judgement, this is why I usually keep quiet.


The latest dodges by the REAL audists is via bslactivist grumpy, who purports to make a comment, but makes it in a way you cannot follow, even when he is capable.... I wouldn't care if he couldn't. Then he elicits support and you are in no position to respond, then does it again, if audism does exist, then BSLactivist is the 'Deaf' BSLusing man who is promoting it as a virtue in the BSL world...... All it does mean is I will ignore him and anyone else who does the same.... cowards.

See Hear - From The Tower of Babble to Audist Central. Which train line is it on?

Not the one you are on, which is going to nowhere....

Having being accused of Audism on Deaf-uk I have never heard of that term till I looked up on Google.
As I understand it (at that time) that if your losing the argument just say Audism...

I have read your post on your blog MM.

ISMS are not dead. They are still alive and well, racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, etc... discrimination is not always discrimination. Sometimes it's hate, pure bigotry and hate, such as homophobia or racism, or anti-semitism.

These disticintive words help us to catalogue and udnertsand specific forms of ISMS.... cos they are different, wiht different origins and different outcomes.

I believe audism is being misunderstood and misapplied, as well as misused as a vauge term. It isn't a vauge term. Best defined through example:

1. A Deaf friend was approached by a coworker in the parking lot of his factory. "Whose car is that?" he was asked. "Mine," he gestured. "How did you get it?" "I bought it." The coworker was visibly upset and said, "You deaf, you cannot drive. You not allowed to have car!" That is audism. Deaf people are not supposed to drive. Only hearing people.

2. I was looking for an apartment and knocked on the door of the resident manager. He came to the door, said, "You looking for an apartment? How many bedrooms, how many (couldn't understand after this point) I indicated I was deaf and wrote, "2 bedrooms, 1 or 2 baths, above the third floor if possible." He wrote back, "We don't rent to deaf people anymore. We had so much trouble with a couple before so now we are not accepting them at all." That is audism. Deaf people are bad tenants, hearing people make better tenants.

3. I was made to sit in an employment office while other people were being seen despite my having been there first. Finally, when I asked, they said, "Nobody is hiring deaf workers today. All the jobs we have require telephones". That is audism. Deaf people are less capable workers. Hearing people are better because they use telephones.

4. The same thing happened in a hospital waiting room. I waited and waited and on asking why after three hours, "We are waiting for an interpreter to come here so the doctor can talk to you." I protested and said, "My time is too important. I'll forego the interpreter and can write what I need." "No, the doctor doesn't want to see deaf patients without an interpreter." That is audism. Deaf people are not worth accomodating by writing. They can wait for interpreters so not to inconvenience anybody else.

5. I needed to rent a car since mine was in the shop waiting for a part to be shipped. The car rental owner said, "Sorry, I don't rent to any deaf people. Hell, I have one glass eye and wouldn't even rent to myself. Many Gallaudet people come here and I have to turn them away. Sorry." That is not only audism, it is disableism. Only normal people can drive rental cars. Disabled people cannot because they "cost more to insure."

To be sure, these blatant examples happened years ago and would be legally actionable if they happened today...but audism is still with us in disguised forms; in persistent pushing of cochlear implants on young children, in unsophisticated hearing people not knowing how to deal with Deaf people, and in careless public policy: loudspeakers broadcasting vital information in transportation facilities for example. We all know it is possible to cover up audism in various ways.

Audism is an important word, one that should not be devalued by carelessly using it. It precisely identifies a problem and describes it so that it can be promptly acted upon. Not being able to name a problem means that the problem will be allowed to exist.

Messed up PHP (website code)? = audism

Where did you get that one Alison?

@ Fintan, apparently cos d-b looks a mess, incl as stated '70 date (cos of a PHP transfer issue) its an example of audism. It was on one of the videos that has emerged over the weekend.

@ Dianrez, thank you for the helpful examples. I agree that careless use of the word devalues it, and makes it more difficult for people to take it seriously by careless usage.

I know the website looks a mess as it was mentioned on Deaf-uk-Tec.

so your saying that someone on a Vlog/youtube says its Audism? how bizarre is that?

@ Fintan, yes!

My comment is here, this is meant to be a trackback but alias I'm informed that there's an issue with trackbacks - will help them resolve it later on.

Alison... I thought i have seen it all but that takes the biscuit!

Audism - I never heard of this word before but never use the words ! But I noted that there are differents examples of the above by Dianrez and it does make an sense to me.

Is the word "Discrimmination" better than the Audism" ? I feel that the word "Discrimmination is more likely serious offence than the Audism, don't you think ?

Because I'm sure that everyone know the word "Discrimmination" more than "Audism", correct ?


Discrimination has its limits. E.g. someone in the street can say you don't like Deaf people, or all Deaf people are stupid. However, that is not discrimination, as would be legally defined.

Audism includes a broader meaning, to include prejudice and discrimination. It also takes into account cultural values, and set up of the majority. In the same way as a wider world is white constructed / where the balance of power lies.

Ahhhhh, "The Tower of Babble". Perfect! Let's all hang onto that one and keep it for future reference.


Lantana,Lantana's Latitude

Audist Audat, which one is it gonna be?

This is all blox let's face it, Grumpy runs down Audism, then uses the term against me and others at 'Audism Centra'l, either you are for or against it Grumps, but then, consistency was never your strong point. You HAVE accepted the term, and HAVE apllied it to other deaf people, NOT what the yanks invented it for... If someone disagrees with BSL as a be-all, and end'all, THEY are audists too. Audism yank style has come to mean here, Audist equals hearing, non-signers are hearing.. those that disagree are hearing... those deaf that sopeak are hearing so we're all bloody Oralist and Audist, get a grip y'all, when in a hole it pays to stop digging.

Look Mate,

As usual you insist on missing the point, and opting for a Pavlovian response, to a few key words...... you cannot even give us a decent rebuttal.

Further to this, you insist twisting everything to say what is not being said, and to give vent to your fevered imagination.

Understand what it is people are trying to say before you start Barking!

More audist responses Grumpy.....

MM, Mwah!

So if Ivan Pavlov's dog barks at me, can I accuse it of being an audist?

Look like Jippers is the train driver to Audist Central. I didn't realise he/she is hearing. That explained a lot. More fool for MM.

He talks more sense than you lot on occasion... and for your info, most here including Tony Nicholas and JG & Co are hearing or have useful hearing, as well, let's face it, I'm the ONLY deafie here.... I detect a teeny weeny lack of respect for REAL deaf people here....

Real Deaf people on See Hear? Where? Oh you talking about Alison, me, Joe, Ruthie, et al.. I see, yes you are right. There is no respect for us. We are the brains, without which you stumble around in the dark mouthing inanities.

Of course the irony is, without Alison [and her co-horts] work on Deaf Blogs and promotion of the blogging tools, you would still be at the Tower of Babble twiddling your thumbs, arguing yourselves towarsd oblivion.

So than Alison and company for bringing the power of blogging to you.

I meant to say, " So THANK Alison and company for bringing the power of blogging to you."

Alison & Co invented blogging ? wow...so why hasn't this been promoted by the deaf community aka we did it first ? Sorry you are wrong these people like YOU have an ability to listen to music, so you are a hearie ! you're a deaf wannabee ? I've always wondered.... So far you're mob has attacked real deaf people on SEE HEAR under the guise of being one themselves,a perfect description of a wannabee .... and a bunch of sad people..

Excuse me, MM, but since when have you been an audiologist? I can only assume your amazing knowledge about Tony, Joe and some others' hearing levels comes from the fact that you have personally tested their hearing, and/or seen their audiograms. Do you know what? IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS how much they, or anyone else, can or cannot hear.

Making assumptions and passing them off as facts is dangerous too - I think you should be more careful to explain what is your personal opinion and what is something that you KNOW is a fact.

And don't twist Tony's words - you know full well that he means Alison and co brought Deaf-blogs.com to us, not blogging per se!

IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS how much they, or anyone else, can or cannot hear.

But, they're writing as DEAF people. I am entitled to get sceptical being harrangued by people who can hear, when listening to music/radio is stated as hobbies on their sites... I don't say that's wrong, I'm saying deaf people can't do that. You're one sided attitude to being 'deaf' is a major sticking point, it's OK for your mates to be border-line because they're in your club, but NOT ok for others because they're reall profouny deaf ? you'll no doubt tell me what constitues being deaf, when hearing loss doesn't enter into it.

Can you not see the distinction and ambiguity of it all ? and JG just slagged off a hearing person...

What is this, an audiogram competition? My line is lower than yours?! WTF?

Just to shut you up, I'm 120db + in both ears. In fact my audiogram goes off the chart. Not that's any of your business or anyone else's. Its the same as requesting any other medical piece of information about a person, and demanding they put it online.

That's precisely what you are doing. Hello?

Since its a piece of medical information, and I don't expect you or anyone else to fling this around cyberspace either, and use it at your will.

I do not appreciate you making *assumptions* about the level of my hearing (you've never even met me!) and then stating a load of other stuff you've assumed through an over active mind, and passing it off as fact.

Assuming and fact are two very different things. Other people could learn from this too!

Want people to start putting their audiograms on their blogs next?

However, I do *not* measure e.g. Joe, Jen, Tony etc by the level of their audiogram. Quite frankly, I'm not even interested / never talk about it. And for the further record, they are all DEAF.

Go tell Evelyn Glennie she's not deaf for creating music.

Further more, MM, Joe DID NOT SLAG OFF a hearing person, he rebutted Jippers points at See Hear. Joe has been quite considerate in his responses on See Hear and elsewhere, so don't accuse him of doing any slagging off!

I think somewhat there is a fine line between rebutal and slagging off. Tony I assume you are Radio.. You may have seen my post by now on See Hear.

This applies to others as well...I admire anyones passion, even the culturists, but there is a line where it crosses from passion to anger, and discrimination.

I have been at the core end of discrimination from Deaf people, and no I had not made any comments, if anythng this was way back. Some will deny that they discriminate against hearing, but they do...and if that attitude keeps, how can one ever overcome discrimination against hearing?

I'm the train driver to audest central..fair enough I do like hornby..but that comment is a little "deafest" if you ask me. Some of the..if we want to use the label "D" here dislike me because I am not afraid to say what I think as most hearing are afraid to put their hand in the fire, and the fact that a hearing person is challenging perceptions..ohhhhh the horror!

The fact is I don't like discrimination on any level, I know ull well the issues and problems that are out there, but you all know as full well as I do the ammount of bickering that goes on in the deaf community that most hearing on't even have a clue about. I have been at the end of it, some of you know of the early comments that were made and the shunning from some Deaf people because I'm in a "deaf/hearing relationship". Am I angry with it now..no.

Am I going to sit at the wayside aware of all the pereptions and arguments that fly across the board?


There may be some confusion as well, I am not anti BSL, but in the interest of a childs education and prospet of future employment I feel english needs to be encouraged as well as lipreasing, and perhaps even more so SSE to be more encouraged.

Is that AUDISM..no it's not.

Audism is being used too loosely for anyones liking.

Just because I'm hearing and have an opinion (which often is assumed to be uneducated just because I'm hearing) does not make it audism.

People use the term as I already said and plenty of others have said for everything, and there isn't one clean term on it.

Do some use it as an ani hearing term...yes

Are some people anti hearing.. yes

Is there one person who would love to pin audism on me (well theres probably a few) ...yes John Savva for one because I challenged his views strongly.

Lasty on the comment of me being hearing explaining alot..don't talk tosh..most of you knew full well I was hearing...what do you expect me to do..put hearing in my name...I don't think so.

I don't know if anyone of you notice it..but whenever a comment is usally made with regards to hearing.. it concerns opression of deafness. I'm not opression anyone.

This is what does happen though...

a deaf person makes an argument against a Deaf person..they debate..
a hearing person or me makes the same argument against a Deaf person..it's seens as audism or discrimination!

Get my point?

wow the first comment from MM saying he agrees with you should be red flag


is audism over used and abused by some yes

is audism under-understood by many yes

should we refrain from using the word when it is not applicable- absolutely!

should we be "audist" label trigger happy - no way

but this is the catch 22 of any new word or any inkling of activism and awakening within ANY oppressed group - when u start to NAME your experience and identify yourselves and examine the unexamined - folks go a wee bit crazy

this does not mean that we should shy awy from the word or dennounce it but rather - figure out - ONE what it means. i dont think u really provide a definition of audism in your blog entry so the opportunity to educate shifted to scolding perhaps straight from the get go
believe me many folks Deaf Hearing and inbetween still have never even seen this word audism

the fact that some folks r sprinkling all over the internet whereever they go need not be encouraged nor does it have to be an invitation to dismiss and diminish the term

so here is the definition us YANKS are using

Audism is attitudes and practices based on the assumption that behaving in the ways of those who speak and hear is desired and best. It produces a system of privilege, thus resulting in stigma, bias, discrimination, and prejudice—in overt or covert ways—against Deaf culture, American Sign Language, and Deaf people of all walks of life.


Joe in terms of your position on wanting Deaf folks to be bilingual - BSL and English using people - i dont think anyone would begrudge u that stance

the fact remains however that world wide the push is to make Deaf folks HEAR and SPEAK - and no matter how u dress that up and make it look pretty that is still audism

this does not mean that a Deaf person who has some hearing and uses speech is an audist or is less of a person but rather the SYSTEM of valuing speech and hearing over being Deaf is audism

doesnt matter if u call it discrimination, Oralism, ableism, paternalism, colonialism or audism

it still sucks and its still rampant

and the question for each of us is not so much - who can we point the finger at to identify audist behavior but rather
1. what audist thinking and behavior do i have and how can i remove that?
2. what can i do about audist systems in my midst (local, national and international)

lastly - its pretty said to see the "same ole same ole" personal grudges and vendettas can be an global feature of Deaf communities - we are all hoping for more and better



my bad - i now see u have a live link for the term audism so sorry for my critic of the absence of a definition in ur entry

the livelink for tony's blog - all the young dudes seems to be broken



Patti, all the young dudes blog has been delete

if you go to www.radio666fm.com, you can access all my blogs there.

thanks tony



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