Crack the Audism: documentary video

The video Crack the Audism (2003) is an educational resource used by Deaf studies, human resources agencies, organizations, harassment/discrimination workshops, employment agencies and such. This 7-minute video was produced by the media artist Jolanta Lapiak in 2003 as a part of the diversity project for the Alberta College of Art and Design's anti-harrassment/anti-discrimination workshop.

A student video project produced in 2003.

"In the long run of history from Aristotle to Alexander Bell, the Deaf have experienced pathological and paternalistic oppression and discrimination in the majority that have impacted on their language, communication, education and employment in similar patterns worldwide. It is unfortunate that despite the changes since the 1980s, deep-rooted audism continues today in a different manner. The video presents the Deaf persons' perspective in their own voice, through their eyes. First hand experiences in their unique language, communication, and challenges of audism are presented to the viewer. This work aims to bring attention to the fact that we are all whole human beings capable of feelings, needs and desires, beyond ears and lips." -- Jolanta Lapiak, 2003.

Crack the Audism


"It was great to see audism not only the term coined by Tom Humphries, but this issue brought to light in a public domain. It was quite effective having two people in the video. While it was a challenge for the viewer to maintain focus on two speakers, the intent perhaps was to explicitly show the bombardment of information on the viewer and the chaotic nature that occurs for people when information overload occurs. Originally I thought only one person should be in the shot, but for artistic purposes, two persons were effective. Furthermore, it grounded the experience of persecution, discrimination, and oppression that is central to audism. I hope this issue stays public." -- Teresa Fleming, 2003.

Related posts

If you're not familiar with 'audism', read the introduction to audism.

To see the larger picture of audism, see institutional audism or beyond systemic audism, see oppression from audism to linguicism.

New to sign language? "Where do I start?" or "How do I start learning sign language?" This ASL Rookie guide lists some selected links to the tutorials for ASL beginners to get started and keep rolling. It may be a useful review for intermediate-level learners and ASL students as well.

Some tutorial pages are a mix of free and premium versions. Access to premium content and links below are available in the PatronPlus subscription. More links/posts will be added from time to time.

Expressing needs and wants

  1. Making commands or requests

Talking about activities

  1. Frequency of time: how often?

Are you able to carry everyday conversations in ASL? Are you a student in the intermediate levels and beyond, who wishes to boost up your signing skills? You've come to the selected tutorial series. (Some premium content are available to PatronPlus membership.)

Stories, poems, performance arts, etc. in sign language.

This documentation project follows a child's language acquisition, literacy development, and phonological acquisition in sign language, specifically ASL, from newborn to age five in a natural native-ASL environment and visual culture.