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Overcoming Unintentional Audism in Rehabilitation Settings

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1 Overcoming Unintentional Audism in Rehabilitation Settings
2010 Fifth National Training Forum Rehabilitation Services Administration State Coordinators and Related Professionals Who Serve Individuals Who Are Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard-of-Hearing, and Late-Deafened Partner Building Bridges August 23-25, 2010 Overcoming Unintentional Audism in Rehabilitation Settings Wednesday: 10:30- 11:45AM. Don’t forget to breathe…pace yourself (and check in with the interpreters) -Introduce yourself, -give thanks and appreciation for the opportunity to present, it is a honor to be here, give thanks to fac and students at WOU -recognize the audience, honor what they do -ask who is familiar about with the term audism? Jesse Woosley Rehabilitation Counselor Education Masters Candidate Western Oregon University

2 Agenda Presentation on Overcoming Unintentional Audism in Rehabilitation Settings Reflection Activity “Audism Unveiled” movie/discussion Introduce the Agenda I don’t claim to be an expert on this topic but it is something that I’ve experienced and practiced myself as a deaf/hard of hearing person. I am sharing my journey in my research and discovery on audism. Realizing that this can be a difficult and sensitive topic for some people so I ask for open minds as I present on this topic… It is not my goal to label and identify people who practice audism. I challenge you to look within yourselves, because often that is where change happens.

3 Overcoming Unintentional Audism in Rehabilitation Settings
Outline: A history of audism Identifying unintentional audism Overcoming unintentional audism Presentation divided into three components

4 A History of Audism Ages old phenomenon
Strong connection between hearing and speaking language ability to identity of human race “How dull they are in general. How little do they differ from animals.”- J.C. Amann “human in shape, but only half human in attributes” –L.Dudley “a perfect non-entity, a living automaton...” A. Sicard “to be human was to speak. To sign was a step downward in the scale of being.”- D. Baynton Bauman (2004) -Hearing and speaking may have been a very strong survival instinct in the world before civilization and technology, deaf humans may have been considered as threats to the survival of species and exclusion of deaf people have evolved on many levels over the ages. -In attempts to define what is human, many scholars linked humans with the ability to acquire and use language. Language often meant the ability to speak and hear which labeled deaf as abnormal. -As humans we tend to gravitate towards the familiar, and often we find comfort with others who appear to be alike us, who communicate the same way, and those that share common beliefs. -Deaf individuals who appear different because they communicate in different ways often experience exclusion and prejudice in a world where sound is a fundamental experience for a majority of humans.

5 A History of Audism First usage of term “audism”
Coined by Dr. Tom Humphries, 1977: Communicating Across Cultures (Deaf/Hearing) and Language Learning Audism: The notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears. System of privilege based on ability to hear The word has still not been formally recognized by many professionals and scholars which defines the need for more awareness about this issue Definition has evolved over time to fit a more broader range of deaf/hard of hearing experiences with oppression, and it will probably continue to evolve in the future. It will be interesting to see what happens with this word and whether it will grow to be recognized… or will there be another word to define the experience?

6 A History of Audism “It’s just another –ism” Validation
Recognizing audism helps resist audist behavior and practice, whether intentional or not -Classism, ableism, racism, sexism, ageism and now audism? Audism is a more specific form of oppression that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals experience. Within the deaf and hard-of-hearing sphere, there can be a wide range of experiences with audism because hearing abilities and privilege varies largely. -The more knowledge and understanding of audism people have the better able we are to recognize unintentional audism and the better we can serve our deaf and hard of hearing population -

7 A History of Audism Creating the future:
Increased awareness of unintentional audism enhances service to deaf and hard-of-hearing populations How can rehabilitation professionals contribute? - Its about developing solid trust.. If we are more familiar with the deaf and hard of hearing experience with audism, we can develop stronger empathy for our clients. -Talk about audism, discuss it with peers, host workshops, invite guest speakers, develop training, become involved with variety of deafness issues, recognize clients’ experience of audism…

8 Identifying Unintentional Audism
Audism and Unintentional Audism: What’s the difference? Unintentional audism is often overlooked and the more prevalent type of audism. Audism is the more obvious form of oppression with malicious intentions. -Because unintentional audist behavior is often not recognized or considered, it can build up stress for the deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, it can spread audist behavior as we learn from each other’s behavior. -Blatant and malicious audism does not happen as often as unintentional audism, I don’t believe that any of us really practice audism outright. It may stem from fear and misconceptions. There can also be reverse audism… it is a learned behavior. --Keep in mind that both can happen from interpersonal to institutional levels -An example of malicious audism can be sterilization campaigns -Which is the more dangerous form of audism?

9 Identifying Unintentional Audism
What are some examples of unintentional audism? -Looking away or mumbling while talking to a person who lip reads -Avoiding to make eye contact with deaf or hard-of-hearing person -Passing up opportunity to learn and use sign language UNINTENTIONAL AUDISM: Other examples? -Not enough lighting in room -Raising voice at the person -Stereotyping or making assumptions -Talking to interpreter instead of directly at client

10 Identifying Unintentional Audism
Possible causes of unintentional audism: Good intentions/ bad interventions Traditional training Cultural tunnel vision Blaming the victim Either/or thinking How good intentions may be harmful: Unwillingness of professional to critically examine one’s own actions Ridley (2005) we want to help deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals but there is a lack of tools and resources specifically designed for this population There seems to be a short supply of RCD programs throughout the country, this type of training is vital We all see the world through our own lenses, if we can just adjust it broadly Sometimes its easier to do so when the problem itself is not understood very well Black or white thinking… a limited perspective on deafness Good intentions can be harmful in many ways, but this appears to be the most critical, when individuals are not willing to look inside themselves to make changes and growth in their lives.

11 Identifying Unintentional Audism
Personal bias, preconceived notions and assumptions: We are not taught to recognize hearing privilege Often the advantages of hearing privilege is taken for granted. Expectations that “they” should be more like “us” We live in a hearing world… we cant deny that there are great privileges to be hearing in a hearing world. Just as we are not really taught about white privilege or male privilege, we need to recognize that so that we can understand the problem better. -They lead us to make judgments about others and the world. -Expectations that a deaf or hard of hearing person need to change themselves to fit in the hearing world. -Recently while discussing with a friend who talked about his strong deaf identity and I told him that he doesn’t have to give up who he fundamentally is in order to participate in the hearing world, there can be a middle ground but it requires an open mind. The same can be true for hearing individuals who have strong beliefs.

12 Overcoming Unintentional Audism
Examining one’s own privilege -White privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack by Peggy McIntosh -We often look at the disadvantage of deaf people, but we never examine closely the advantage that hearing people have. When we examine that privilege closely we are able to own up to our advantages over others, that helps us become more humble individuals and helps us understand where others come from with their struggles. -The author identifies 50 clear privileges that she has as a white individual, this idea can be a good application -I encourage you all to read this article, contact me for it or you can look it up online “As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.”

13 Overcoming Unintentional Audism
Taking the initial steps: -Power to make positive changes for deaf and hard-of-hearing people often lies in the hands of people who have hearing privilege -Unacknowledged hearing privilege and audism can contribute to phenomenon of “invisible oppression” (McIntosh, 1988) Why is it important to make the first steps? - I think the key here is making invisible oppression visible so we can understand how we can contribute .. So that will help lead to a better starting point for all individuals in providing services to deaf and hard of hearing populations..

14 Overcoming Unintentional Audism
Recognizing microaggressions: -”subtle in nature and can be manifested in the verbal, non-verbal, visual or behavioral realm” -often subconscious and conditioned behavior (Sue and Sue, 2008) It is what the word spells… the prejudicial behavior is often small and easily dismissed by those who don’t think it is harmful and it often can be disguised as good intentions… We are very social creatures, we learn from each other, perpetuate each other’s behavior whether good or bad and when there is a hearing majority, often it is difficult to “think outside of the EAR” (hence the sign)

15 Overcoming Unintentional Audism
Awareness or “critical consciousness” -Vital to make changes happen -Willingness of professional to participate in difficult dialogues about audism with peers, clients, and others. -Recognize and confront typical defense mechanisms that privileged individuals may use (Watt, Curtis, Drummond, Kellogg, Lozano, Nicoli, & Rosas, 2009) -It is a growth of awareness and As we know, in counseling, it often takes catharsis for things to change for a client… there has to be challenges to a person’s way of thinking in order to produce insights that lead to heightened awareness -counselors should be comfortable talking with clients about their identity of a deaf or hard-of-hearing individual, because it can help identify where clients are with self-esteem and awareness. -Research showed that some typical defense mechanisms include: denial, deflection, minimization, intellectualization, false envy, and benevolence.

16 Reflection How can you share hearing privilege or “power” with deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals? What were your experiences with “unintentional audism” like? What direction should we take with our awareness of “unintentional audism”? -take a few minutes to write, consider, or discuss among yourselves these questions -Set up the movie, watch then short discussion

17 Movie “Audism Unveiled”
Wont have time for the whole movie, will show important part and perhaps you can add it to your office’s library

18 References Bauman, D.L. (2004). Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 9, Chaney, M.P., Foley, P.F., and Smith, L. (2008). Addressing classism, ableism, and heterosexism in counselor education. Journal of Counseling and Development, 86, Curtis, G.C., Jerri Drummond, J., Kellogg A.H., Lozano, A., Nicoli, G.T., Rosas, M., and Watt, S.K. (2009) Counselor preparation, privileged identity exploration: Examining counselor trainees’ reactions to difficult dialogues. Counselor Education and Supervision, 49, Harrington, T. (2009) FAQ: Audism. retrieved from tions_%28FAQs%29/Cultural_Social_Medical/Audism.html MacIntosh, P. (1988). White privilege and male privilege: A personal account of coming to see correspondences through work in Women's Studies. Wellesley, MA: Center for Research on Women, Working Paper Series, no. 189. Peters, S. W. (2007) Cultural awareness: enhancing counselor understanding, sensitivity, and effectiveness with clients who are deaf. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 35, Ridley, C. (2005) Overcoming Unintentional Racism in Counseling and Therapy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Sue D. & Sue D.W. (2008) Counseling the Culturally Diverse. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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