Audism (from Latin audire, to hear, and -ism, a system of practice, behavior, belief, or attitude) has been variously defined as:

The notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears. (Humphries, 1977, p. 12)

Audism is oppressionPersons who practice audism are called audists. Audists may be hearing or deaf. The term audism was coined by Tom Humphries in Communicating across cultures (deaf-hearing) and language learning (1977, p. 12).  The term lay dormant until Lane revived its use 15 years later. It is increasingly catching on, though not yet in regular dictionaries of the English language. Humphries originally applied audism to individual attitudes and practices, but Lane and others have broadened its scope to include institutional and group attitudes, practices, and oppression of deaf persons. The first half of Lane’s book The mask of benevolence: disabling the deaf community is the most extensive published survey and discussion of audism so far (Lane, 1992).


Jan Humphrey & Bob Alcorn (1995). So you want to be an interpreter: An introduction to sign language interpreting (2nd ed.). Amarillo, TX: H&H Publishers.

Tom Humphries (1977). Communicating across cultures (deaf-/hearing) and language learning. Doctoral dissertation. Cincinnati, OH: Union Institute and University.

Harlan Lane (1992). The mask of benevolence: disabling the deaf community. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Deaf Culture [studiu]