Tom Humphries originated the term audism in 1975, which is the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears (individual audism). It may also refer to a system of advantage based on hearing ability (institutional audism), and/or a phonocentric orientation that links human identity to speech (ideological audism). Individuals who hold and/or practice these beliefs may be labeled as audists.

Individual Audism

Humphries defined audism as an individual’s belief that the ability to hear or behave in a way consistent with those who hear is superior. This focus on the individual’s attitudes and beliefs is parallel to the definition of individual racism, in which an individual holds beliefs and exhibits racist behaviors, ranging from assumptions ...

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