Abstract

This article traces the development of the concept of “audism” from its inception in the mid-1970s by exploring three distinct dimensions of oppression: individual, institutional, and metaphysical. Although the first two aspects of audism have been identified, there is a deeply rooted belief system regarding language and human identity that is yet to be explored within the context of audism. This article attempts to expose how our particular historical and philosophical constructions of language and being have created what French philosopher Jacques Derrida calls phonocentrism. Although Derrida does not discuss audism, his deconstruction of the Western notion of language provides a lens through which we can better see the orientation that has provided fertile ground out of which individual and institutional audism has flourished.