Alicia mentioned audism in a recent comment and it was the first I heard of the word. Audism, like racism and sexism, is discrimination against deaf people.
Wikipedia provides examples of audism:
- Deaf people cannot write well because they are deaf or because English is not their first language.
- Deaf people cannot be successful without the aid of hearing devices like cochlear implants.
- Deaf people who can speak well are more successful or smarter than those who can’t or don’t speak.
- Deaf people cannot perform well in sports due to their loss of hearing, which is related to the sense of balance.
- Deaf people cannot drive. (Seriously?)
My love of sports
I’ve heard some of these, but not the sports reference, which surprised me most considering sports was my thing during my kid years. I only remember of ONE instance where my hearing loss embarrassed me in a sports situation and it happened during basketball practice not a game. We were warming up and I was practicing on the far end of the gym. Coach called us to huddle and I kept on practicing. Blush
Calling the ball in volleyball and softball was never a problem. I also played soccer and dabbled in tennis, golf, and racquetball. Heck, I was a referee with TCU‘s intramural sports program in my freshman year in college. I loved it.
I didn’t realize this until much later that sports is most likely responsible for my confidence. Had I not played, I may not have had as much confidence or success. My daughter was at volleyball practice and I saw a chance to play with a volleyball. Whenever I watched her team practice, I wanted to go out on the court and join them.
Anyway, as I warmed up — I felt more confident, outgoing and talkative. One of my fondest childhood memories is earning an most valuable player (MVP) award twice in one softball season. (Once for the team and once in a tournament.)
The idea of coaching kids …
My son had a baseball game last Saturday and it brought back a few softball memories. I got a little too excited when he hit his first double. (He struck out every time at the last game, so I couldn’t help it.) I also play catch with him trying to help him improve. We picked up oil for his glove just like my dad did for me. Back then, Dad had to pour the oil on the glove, spread it evenly, stick a softball in and put a rubber band around the glove. Now, all we have to do is spray the glove and leave it.
I’d probably enjoy coaching kids, but I’m not comfortable with the thought of it. (Ironic, isn’t it? Sports made me more confident and outgoing, but not coaching.) Although I’m used to it and accept it, I can do without the stares I get from them when I talk. No, I’ll just be a parent and watch my kids play.
A hint of audism
Back to audism. Many times when I misunderstood someone or asked to repeat something, I’d get looks of “Are you stupid?” During group conversations, I’d get lost or ask someone what the topic is — and then came the puzzled slash mad look that said they saw me as inferior.
I’ve taken up tennis in the last couple of weeks (since that’s what most adults play around here) and it’s been great to get back into a sport.
That’s why I have stuck with blogging after all of these years. People get to know me from what I post and nothing else.