The time to stop audism is here and now

William Herbe

Students listen to speakers at the demonstration to stop audism.Students line up along the sidewalk on front of the Oviatt Library.

A student holds a sign during the demonstration to end audism.
Photo's by: William Herbe

Yesterday students gathered outside of the Oviatt Library to raise awareness about the Deaf community and audism. Audism is “the hearing way of dominating, restructuring, and exercising authority over the Deaf community.” Students and faculty got together to inform the CSUN community of the deaf culture around the world and that American Sign Language (ASL) should be treated as any other language. The overall attitude of those that gathered was hopeful that the Deaf community will be treated and understood with educational demonstrations like this. The following is what students, alumni and faculty had to say about the demonstration and the misconceptions people have about the deaf community:

“It’s going to have to take people to want to take the time to understand rather than throwing the cold shoulder.”
-Jordan Danz,
Junior, Deaf Studies

“We are trying to enhance awareness. Audism is a prejudice against hard of hearing and the Deaf community. There are those in the speaking culture who see sign language as an inferior language. We are here now to raise awareness about the culture and deaf studies.”
-Drew Tolson,
Junior, Deaf Studies, VP of Deaf Studies Association (DSA)

“The biggest problem is people don’t have an education. They need exposure to other cultures. We are all here to get out and inform the mainstream.”
-Michele Smith,
CSUN alumnus, Class of 2005

“Everyone needs to respect linguistic diversity. Sign language is equal to every other language in the world and we all need to respect it. It’s important for people to understand and get to know ASL. Both the Deaf studies dept. and the National Center on Deafness (NCOD) are meeting in the middle of campus to fight for a cause that has sadly not seen as much exposure as it should. We are here because it’s our responsibility to educate the rest of the community.”
-Laura Schrenk,
Junior, Deaf Studies, President of DSA

“Before I came here I never met a deaf person in my life. But now all of my roommates sign and I decided to learn ASL to be an active member of the community. The big problem is that audism is a worldwide issue that is swept under the rug too much. I think it’s because some people are scared to learn about what they didn’t know before. The community is so happy and welcoming. They accept all with open arms.”
-Briana Kramer,
Junior, English Studies