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  • Audism: 5 Examples And How To Avoid It.

    You may have heard d/Deaf/Hard of hearing people speak about discrimination, prejudice, or the unwillingness of the hearing community to accommodate their needs. Discover what the term means and how to avoid perpetuating Audism. Who coined the term Audism? It is a term used to describe the negative attitude towards the d/d/Deaf/HoH community. Audism is the attitude that hearing people are superior based than the d/Deaf/HoH person or the d/Deaf/HoH community at large. Tom Humphries coined the term audism in his doctoral dissertation titled "Communicating Across Cultures (Deaf-Hearing) and Language Learning" in 1977. Humphries defines the term in his dissertation as "the notion that one is superior based on one's ability to hear or to behave in the manner of one who hears." Harlan Lane's book "Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community" delves into this concept in great depth. Lane and Humphries took different approaches to uncovering hearing privilege. Humphries focused on individuals, whereas Lane examined communities and society in general. What does audism mean to the d/Deaf/HoH community? There is a chance that a hearing person may have come across the word audism for the first time without being aware that this form of discrimination exists. The audist label refers to those who are aware of Deaf culture but choose to ignore or defy it for various reasons. You also can be an audist when you do not have any knowledge of Deaf culture, and choose to add your opinions on how we should live our life. d/Deaf people and hard of hearing individuals go through audism when they mind their own business and do things differently from hearing people. It also affects d/Deaf students at school and can occur anywhere at any moment without anyone knowing that they are perpetuating the stereotypes. Let us explore a few examples of unintentional audism. What are examples of Audism? If you are not familiar with how casually audism creeps into our everyday conversations or actions, here are a few examples: A hearing person makes assumptions about a d/Deaf/Hard of hearing persons' ability Teachers in high school assumed I would fail in life because I was a shy and introverted deaf person. A few strangers took a look at me and some people even went so far as to predict that I would not amount to anything just because I could not hear. Assuming that a d/Deaf/Hard of hearing person would not get far in education and career I have personally encountered a handful of people in Sri Lanka who assume that if their child is deaf, what is the point of sending them to school since they can’t hear- this assumption is very dangerous as it perpetuates the view that there is no inclusive/ accommodative education for d/Deaf and hard of hearing students. There are occasions when a d/Deaf and hard of hearing individual applies for a job, they immediately assume that d/Deaf/Hard of hearing people have not had a good education and are surprised when we put our educational qualifications on our resume. Assuming the worst and giving pettiness Whenever I disclose that I am deaf, people apologize immediately after hearing that. Most people assume that d/Deaf/HoH people live lonely lives. Some go as far as to think that d/Deaf/HoH students can not learn, I have comes across this on two occasions. But when they hear us live our lives as 'normal'- talking, mingling with people, and being hot and bothered with our education and career. They immediately shift from the pity mindset to a patronizing attitude. Developing a patronizing attitude Some people have approached me and casually stated, "You speak well for a deaf person." It is weird to have someone come up and so easily utter that when we had our emotional baggage, struggles, and self-esteem issues. With support from our parents, we had to get the confidence and work on ourselves. Inspiration porn After the patronizing attitude, they move on to inspiration porn. Every time, we disabled people do something normal, we are applauded, praised for doing something everyone does, and are placed on a pedestal. However, we continue to look for jobs, switch schools, get married, and do everything else that regular people do. Yet we are faced with harsh judgments and the presumptions that we are different and powerless. The ableist people think we do not deserve the same status of quality of life as hearing people as a result of able-bodied upbringing. Enforcing Oral and spoken language instead of sign language From a historical perspective, it is something that has been enforced centuries ago. Deaf people were judged harshly for using sign language. There was one historical event that had an impact on the lives of Deaf sign language users: The Milan Conference of 1880. At this conference, it was decided to teach Deaf students oral education, and spoken speech. Sign language was banned at all schools. Due to the resolutions passed at the conference, plenty of d/Deaf/HoH teachers lost their jobs, the decline of d/Deaf/HoH professionals, and the life of d/Deaf/HoH students were severely impacted. How did American Sign Language (ASL) survive? William Stokoe, a long-time linguistics professor at Gallaudet College, declared sign language a true language in 1970. In the end, Gallaudet university's decision to keep sign language played a crucial role in its survival. Audism does not only affect the hearing population but d/Deaf/HoH people can unconsciously be an audist. Let us explore how d/Deaf and hard of hearing individuals can be audist. What is dysconscious Audism? Audism does not only affect the hearing population; d/Deaf/Hard of hearing people can also develop and internalize audist beliefs. Again, disagreements within the d/Deaf/HoH community arise as a result of their upbringing with their hearing family members and little to no awareness of the Deaf culture. Resistance to deaf-centered education, lack of trust in d/Deaf/HoH leaders, being apologetic about one's d/Deaf/Hard of hearing experience/needs, and acceptance of oppression are all examples of Dysconscious Audism. If you, as a d/Deaf/HoH person are unaware of your audist beliefs. It is also time to make a change within yourself. How can you avoid being an Audist? Awareness! Spend time researching people's experiences with Deafness/hearing loss and what it means to them. Immerse yourself in learning about the Deaf community, ask your d/Deaf/HoH friend, I’ll be happier to clear up your doubts. Be also mindful of how you phrase sentences and situations, and most importantly, refrain from making assumptions. Recognize our efforts, but remember, we are not here to inspire you.

  • Lipreading Accessibility: Mask on or mask off?

    With the spread of Covid- 19 and its variants, the primary defense against Covid-19 was the face mask which has become a public norm today. The facemask has become a barrier to communication for Deaf lipreaders. Read on to find out why and what you can do to make communication easier. Before going ahead, let us look at a few of the terms I"ll use throughout the blog. The deaf and hard of hearing community mainly relies on lipreading, facial expression, and sign language. The mask has become an obstruction to understanding cued speech. The exclusion of lip movements and facial expressions adds stress and pressure on the Deaf and people with hearing loss to make sure the communication flows smoothly. Before masks became a norm, if we encountered communication problems, we were able to adjust or come up with solutions. But now, with the facial mask, it is a matter of safety. The question always pops up in my mind when I don't understand the speaker, "Do I let the other person remove the mask for a few minutes so I can find it easier to lipread?" Or "Do I compromise the speaker's wellbeing just because it is convenient to lipread?" Since I learned to lipread and had a ton of lipreading practice during my childhood with the little residual hearing I have left, I find it difficult since your voice would come out as muffled and unclear. It covers your lips, making it difficult for me to lipread. A face mask usually covers half of your facial expressions, making it difficult to get extra clues to supplement my communication. I remember the anxiety and the stress I went through as I saw a person with a face mask approaching me. I did not know what they were saying, nor did not know how to handle the situation. The stress and frustration went through the roof when they were unwilling to make accommodations when I asked. I was in low spirits and felt so lonely when I saw other people communicating with their face masks. To make it easier and give us lip reading access to communicate with the mask on and without having to compromise your safety. There are a few things you can do. Type it out on your phone, or write it on paper. It may be unusual, but it is a fun way of communicating with one another, especially when you are having trouble understanding each other. Wear a mask with a clear panel for lipreading Deaf people can now lipread thanks to the introduction of clear panel masks. Shortly after being worn, the clear face mask begins to fog up. It makes lipreading tricky in that situation. Be mindful of the environment. When speaking to a deaf person, ensure there is minimal to no background noise. Speaking in a public place, such as the road, is not ideal, but talking in an office with background chatter can work to some extent, depending on the person's level of hearing loss. Keep the conversation short and to the point. In case the deaf person does not identify your lip movements or voice. Make sure to convey vital details while supplementing the conversation by writing on a piece of paper or using social media platforms. Deaf people, Hard of hearing, and hearing people, here are a few apps I discovered and trialed in different situations. These apps can help ease the communication barrier you face while out in public. For deaf people, it might help relieve some of the pressure you're under and make a difference in the conversation. Otter.ai Live transcribe Make It Big Notes app of your choice. For the first two apps, you'll need an internet connection. For the last two, you can use them anywhere with or without Internet access. While it is frustrating that we no longer have lipreading access, there are still ways for us to overcome the communication barrier. Next time you encounter a deaf person, hopefully, these tips and the apps will come in handy and help make the communication go smoothly. #SriLanka #inclusion #Deaf #hardofhearing #mask #lipreading

  • How Does Society Perceive Disability and Marriage?

    I stumbled upon a new world where I was almost baffled at society's way of thinking when it comes to marriage. From a personal experience, it was an alarming observation of how people perceive hearing aids or Deafness in general. In my proposal, I declared that I am deaf, hearing aid, and cochlear user. Most people today believe that the term Deaf and disabled has a negative connotation and thus prefer the term Hearing impaired and special needs. But why is disabled and Deaf a bad word? It is something that I, today, proudly own and will use regardless of what you think. In marriage, we are excluded, forgotten, judged, and they are doubtful if we can manage. The more I pondered, the more I realized society must learn to be open-minded when it comes to disability. I have always noticed that whenever we, the deaf, or people living with disabilities, achieve something beyond our capability, we are placed on a pedestal, or society applauses and praises us. But when it comes to marriage, it is like, errr, can this disabled person do this? We live in a world made for abled people, not having disabled people in mind. Society thinks that disability is inherited or genetic. I think society needs to educate itself on which disabilities can be inherited or genetic. For instance, I am living proof that I come from a family without visible disabilities. I, a deaf girl, was born to a hearing couple and an extended family who did not have any indication that my parents would get a deaf child. I do not think there is any difference when it comes between the older generation and the younger generation. It depends on their mindset/ awareness of people living with disabilities and education. However, I have observed the younger generation is more forthcoming and eager to learn while the older generation is more hesitant. The older generation goes on to shift the negative attitude toward their offspring. Society has made up its mind that two deaf individuals would be more suited for each other, while others would say it is better if people with disabilities marry each other. Society views people with disabilities better marry a disabled person as they can understand each other better and form an understanding from common ground. My views on this exact topic are different from yours, however. I have always noticed that people plop us down and tell their children what fabulous human beings we are. But in marriage, we are excluded, forgotten, judged, and they are doubtful if we can manage. All of our lives, we disabled people have been enduring and trying to survive in a world made for abled people, not having disabled people in mind. I've always wondered why society judges us, especially when it comes to issues like these. What's the difference between applauding and praising someone with a disability and ignoring them? #Marriage #Society #Deaf #Disability

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  • Informative | Insight into the Deaf world

    Husna Naleer Nov 21, 2019 5 min Inspiring story: A silent world Ever wondered if I was born into this world with a booklet of manuals and care. As a newborn, were my parents able to identify if I was Deaf FEATURED POST Email Join Our Mailing List Thanks for subscribing! TRAIN OF THOUGHT MY TOP 5 Husna Naleer 10 hours ago 4 min Audism: 5 Examples And How To Avoid It. You may have heard d/Deaf/Hard of hearing people speak about discrimination, prejudice, or the unwillingness of the hearing community to... 16 views 0 comments 1 like. Post not marked as liked 1 Husna Naleer Jul 27 3 min Lipreading Accessibility: Mask on or mask off? With the growing pandemic, living in a masked world has created a barrier for the deaf community when it comes to lipreading accessibility. 237 views 0 comments 19 likes. Post not marked as liked 19 Husna Naleer Jul 15 2 min How Does Society Perceive Disability and Marriage? Society is of the view that people living with disabilities better marry a disabled person as they can understand each other better. 262 views 2 comments 20 likes. Post not marked as liked 20 Husna Naleer Apr 30, 2021 3 min Why do Deaf people lipread? Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing learn to read lips to make communication flow smoothly. However, don't be fooled when you 290 views 2 comments 12 likes. Post not marked as liked 12 Husna Naleer Apr 16, 2021 4 min Deaf discrimination: A personal experience This is not to draw sympathy but to highlight the fact that these incidents can occur. You can also be ignorant of the issues that people w 314 views 1 comment 22 likes. Post not marked as liked 22 Husna Naleer Dec 31, 2020 2 min Huh, what's going on? As you watch a movie with your family, hostel mates, and friends. Your deaf family member or a friend would start feeling confused as... 144 views 0 comments 20 likes. Post not marked as liked 20 Husna Naleer Aug 28, 2020 1 min Cochlear Update Finally, after five months of lockdown, the country gearing back to normalcy. The school's reopening, people are going about their daily... 70 views 1 comment 12 likes. Post not marked as liked 12 Husna Naleer Aug 21, 2020 3 min Brain Fatigue At some point, all of us suffer from brain fatigue. But, today, I am going to focus on the Deaf and how we are affected by brain fatigue.... 196 views 2 comments 14 likes. Post not marked as liked 14 Husna Naleer Aug 15, 2020 3 min What Have I Learned Along the Way to Using Correct Terminology? Since I was a kid, I have always wondered where I belong. The hearing world or the Deaf world. Should I identify myself with a capital or... 183 views 2 comments 17 likes. Post not marked as liked 17 Husna Naleer Jul 29, 2020 3 min Dinner Table Syndrome Dinner table syndrome, from a deaf person's point of view, deals more with exclusion at family gatherings or events. 508 views 0 comments 13 likes. Post not marked as liked 13 ABOUT ME I believe you must bring your whole self to the table if you want to thrive in today’s crazy world; your personality, your sense of humor, and most importantly, your heart. All of these elements brought me to start Insight into the Deaf world. To see what I’ve been up to, browse my site, learn about my passions, and explore what excites and interests you as well. FOLLOW ME SUBSCRIBE Subscribe Thanks for subscribing! MY PICK OF THE MONTH We are all told, “live your life to the fullest”; I am here to do just that Insight into the deaf world serves as a vessel to project my passions and clue in my loyal readers what inspires me in this crazy world. So, sit back, relax, and read on. GET IN TOUCH I'd love to hear from you naleerhusna@gmail.com

  • About | Insight into the Deaf world

    Hey! So Glad You're Here. It has been 25 years since I have been born into a world of silence, and I will continue to live in a world of silence. ​ At one point, I could not explain the chaos around me unless I had my assistive device. But I, being Deaf, did not stop me from striving hard against all odds. ​ Trust me, since I have been born, my life has been a roller-coaster. At first, I did not know much about my Deafness. I did not let it hinder my education and interaction with my peers. Since children are curious, when they pointed out my hearing aids, I just shrugged it off. ​ But during the period of adolescence, I began noticing myself more, and then the challenges started. I would get angry, depressed, frustrated, confused, and lonely. I would discern the merest details of myself and the environment. At that point, I had low self-esteem and confidence. Thus, it gave birth to all the mental health issues I faced and fed into my insecurities. From there onwards, I suffered from Deaf Anxiety. I became socially withdrawn and introverted. It was my deaf anxiety that kept me from opening to people. I want to create awareness not just for the hearing community but also for Deaf/Hard of Hearing parents because it affects the child's self-esteem for life. ​ Many people think if a deaf person wears hearing aids or cochlear, they “magically” hear as ordinary people. To get to this point, we have overcome obstacles, gone through injustice and misunderstandings, which a deaf person could relate to. ​ Throughout my interactions with ordinary people, I found out that none of them have come across a Deaf person or have awareness about the deaf community. They did not know how to interact with me, and I had to show them I could communicate just like other children. ​ As a person living with disabilities (Deaf), I have always come across situations excluded from the activities and misunderstandings. Since then, I have understood that many people with disabilities go through the same thing. ​ These incidents prompted me to publish a blog, Insight of the Deaf (https://www.insightintothedeafworld.com ), where my goal is to spread awareness and sensitize the public on Deafness.

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