Many issues can lead one to experience discrimination and prejudices from fellow employees, or by an employer. Top on the list is hearing disorders that can lead to denial of promotions that you clearly deserve based on your hard work and creativity. Audism can be displayed in many ways. One is the attempt to encourage deaf or hard of hearing people to act and live as much as possible as non deaf people. The other is to take control over deaf people, to disempower them.
Definition od Audism
Audism is the prejudice in relations to a person’s ability or the lack of it to hear. The term is mostly alien to many people even those that have hearing disabilities. Audists in this regard are individuals who feel superior to people with hearing disorders. They fail to understand how to handle people with hearing disorders even after being educated about the appropriate expectations of the hearing impaired. Despite knowing how to conduct themselves, audists continues to belittle and act superior around those with hearing disorders.
Audism manifests itself in a myriad of ways including:
• Ignoring and deliberately failing to provide necessary accommodations for the people in your environment who have hearing disorders
• Putting people who can hear on a pedestal as superiors to the people living with a hearing disorder
• Deliberately refusing to use sign language around the hearing impaired when you know how to sign
• Belittling people with a hearing disorder and their input and being a block to their rise to positions of authority at work or in the society
• Harboring negative expectations on the people living with hearing disorders
• Parents and guardians of deaf and hearing impaired children forcing them to conform to the hearing culture instead of acknowledging and accepting their sense of belonging in deaf culture
• Having negative and lower expectations of success by teachers, employees, employers, speech therapists, administrators, et al. towards persons living with hearing disorders
The discrimination and the prejudice about the deaf culture may not affect you, but life is a vicious circle and it might affect someone you know. Numerous studies and research show the extent of the damage people with hearing disorders meet from audists in the workplace. In this guide, we look at how to deal with audism in the workplace and transitioning into the next level of your life when dealing with a hearing disorder.
Effects of Audism
When persons living with hearing disorders are discriminated against, they can suffer from severe bouts of anxiety, fear and embarrassment. From experience, most people retreat into cocoons and shut everybody out and they sink into depression.
Sometimes discrimination against hearing impaired happens in the places where communication is crucial, like hospitals and police station. Without equal access, they cant get get the same attention and care. Without interpreter available they are more likely to experience medical misdiagnosis or wrongful arrest.
The effect of audism in early childhood severely dents their self-esteem, which can progress into adulthood, and leading to lack of understanding of their potential.If left alone, there have been cases where victims of audism have gone to the extent of committing suicide.
Know your Rights
The USA Department of Justice revised the regulations on the Americans with Disabilities Act and as an audism victim you have the right to sue audists for discrimination and prejudice. The revisions in the act refine the issues that have cropped up in the recent past. The new act that went into effect on March 15, 2011, directs that national and state officials as well as the private sector to communicate effectively with people who experience communication disorders and disabilities.
Your employer must provide auxiliary services and aids to help you communicate effectively with other employees in your office. These auxiliary aids and service include a tactile, oral and sign language interpreter, a qualified note taker, written materials such as a script of a stock speech, et al. The person hired for the job of interpreting ought to interpret effectively, receptively, expressively, and impartially, and must be conversant with the specialized vocabulary whenever the need arises.
Your employer ought to provide you with suitable listening systems, telephone handset amplifiers, captioned telephones, hearing-aid compatible telephones, videotext displays, video telecommunication equipment, et al. The employer also ought to provide seminars on how to communicate effectively with the employees with a hearing disorder and to discourage audism in the work place. Otherwise, you can sue them for neglect, discrimination, et al.
Filing a Law Suit
In more cases than one, you will encounter a myriad of challenges when you have a hearing disorder. As stated above, you have rights as a person with a hearing disorder and you can sue entities for violating your rights.