Tuesday, September 23, 2008

for instance...

this cartoon from 1993, which was published originally in silent news and then reprinted in the new yorker, illustrates how cochlear implants have not always been very welcomed by some of the Deaf community. when i was talking trying to explain where we were coming from, i kind of felt like i was saying we were these parents that wanted option b (above) for her. i hope we're not just trying to justify this choice we're making, but i guess our hope is that it won't be the way this cartoon depicts things...


  1. crazy! but remember, this was the time they JUST came out. People have a hard time adjusting to change.

  2. Sooz, I know that you wrote this post a while ago - but cochlear implants (CIs) are getting so good that people can hear music and conversations in noisy bars! These are the pinnacles of hearing achievement - trust me. It takes a lot of brain computing power in normal hearing (NH) folks to hear a (silly or significant) conversation in a noisy bar....
    Have hope, my friend.
    BTW, I agree with Rebecca - that cartoon was from a loooong time ago.

  3. The majority of the Deaf Community doesn't hold the same attitude nowadays with the exception of the extremists. I was told this isn't an issue with the younger generation except among Deaf of Deaf which constitutes 5 percent of the Deaf Community.

  4. Bryon,

    As long as the child is taught sign language too, people are fine with children getting an implant.

    However, if they are just forced to learn to speak, and not allowed to sign.. majority of the deaf community is against that.

  5. It isn't always an issue of being forced to speak and not allowed to sign. I know some people do that. One of my friends' daughters is deaf and has a CI; her parents always signed with her. (and spoke) When her CI failed at the age of three and they reimplanted it, during the time when she had no sound leading up to and after surgery, her parents continued to sign with her but the daughter refused to sign. She didn't want to sign despite her parents attempts. She would read lips instead.

    With anything there are extremists on both sides,a and then moderates in the middle.

  6. I understand. I have three boys, two deaf with cochlear implants. One is VERY oral/aural/whatever, the other prefers sign language. Two boys with the exact same medical diagnosis, but two very different sets of needs, skills and abilities. The one who prefers sign (ASL) still benefits from the implant, though. But even with therapy, we definitely promote his use of sign language. www.bionicboys.blogspot.com


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