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AUDISTAgence Universitaire de Documentation et d'Information Scientifique et Technique (French: University Agency for Documentation and Scientific and Technical Information)
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To what extent, then, can space which is produced under the influence of audist and phonocentric biases be considered truly 'public'?
We mould them in our images: they, in their turn, shape us by the resistance they offer when we try to impose our own personal form on them." This soft city is the site of the intangible, and consequently insidious, audist practices that demarcate the Deaf body as 'other'.
The insights offered by Deaf participants in this research suggest that a significant aspect of their personal everyday geographies is encountering hearing citizens, and the discrete, yet powerful, audist biases that underwrite the social relations between them.
This Deaf woman's experience is clearly underwritten by audist tendencies in the communication strategies of service provision, which in this instance prove to be discriminatory on the basis of not engaging with sound-based infrastructures.
Most workplaces are predominantly hearing environments and the social relations that are reproduced on the 'soft' sites of the factory floor and in offices become imbued with the audist biases and perceptions exist beyond those spaces, and which are contained in the dispositions and attitudes of the broader employee constituency.
This incident is reminiscent of Bauman's (2004, page 245) commentary in which he states that "the practices of these institutions then beget individual audist attitudes through daily practices, rituals, and disciplining Deaf bodies into becoming closer to normal hearing bodies." Another participant explained that the predominance of sound-based telephone communication impedes access for Deaf people:
In such instances, the differences between hearing and Deaf people's engagements with sonic architectures become apparent, quite often resulting in an inequitable landscape of information provision which can be regarded as deeply audist and which can cause Deaf citizens to feel disenfranchised:
As well as the hearingness implicit in urban design, also significant are the audist perceptions held by the hearing majority, often informed exclusively by understandings of D/deafness as an inability to hear.
A larger, more persistent issue is residual: how might we address the audist philosophies underpinning the social reproduction of urban space and social relations?
By exploring how we can best serve deaf clients and by learning how we can position ourselves as cultural informants for colleagues who view deaf writers through audist lenses, we begin to lessen the divide which currently exists between hearing consultants and deaf student writers.
And what of such new "audist" approaches as Auditory-Verbal habilitation?
When Lane (1992: 47, 49, 71) cites the vested interests of the "audist establishment" in maintaining its goal of enabling deaf children to hear and speak, and above all when he refers to the enormous profits that can be made through the marketing of hearing aids and cochlear implants to the deaf, he is appealing to that "cynical reason" which is a hallmark of the postmodernist sensibility.
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