Cochlear Unites

Some Statements on the nature Deaf Community and the CI

Reggie statement from 15 Nov 1993:
I am a Deaf history buff. During my research, I have not yet seen such argument that inferred Deaf people were against hearing aids. It is possible that I overlook this, but most of my findings mentioned that the Deaf community was not against the hearing aids itself, but aganist the people who tried to sell hearing aids. One of the tactics they used to convince people were that they helped the deaf children to speak better, to hear perfectly and to improve on their reading and writing skills, etc. Here is one of the most drastic examples: In 1950's, a group of hearing aid manufacturers and speech and hearing pathologists tried to get a bill passed in the Pennsylvania Legistative to became a state law. The bill proposed that Deaf persons would be required to have hearing aids if they wanted to drive a car. Fortunately, this bill was thrown out. If it had been passed, the hearing aid manfacturers and audiologists would have profited from the law.

In general, the Deaf community is not against cochlear implants also. The hearing aid salesmanship ploy somewhat parallels with the manipulation of selling the CI idea to parents of Deaf children. For instance, the FCC permits 2 years old children to have CI implanted. This is the reason why the Deaf community is againist it for the children are not old enough to have a decision about wearing CI. The Deaf community also resents some of the arguments that the CI advocates stated. One example is that the CI advocates implied that the Deaf community are afraid the CI will cause their culture to diminished. It is untrue.

Statements Made on the Positive Aspects of The CI and Deaf Culture

On 5 Mar 1995, Claire Lynn Wells posted to DEAF-L an account about two families, which have sensible attitudes toward CI's:

"... BTW, both these families I mentioned still sign to their kids. They see a CI as a way for them to develop auditory, speech, and speechreading skills in addition to their language/sign skills.

"I watched a video of one of the children of the mother from Kansas, before and 3/4 years after, and I just couldn't believe the improvement in her speech. But will speech replace sign as her primary means of communication? We'll see. It doesn't matter to her mom either way. And yes, she knows ASL, too."

Those families consider the CI as the cure all for deafness, but only as another means for improving the quality of life of deaf children. They accept the fact that their children are and will continue to be deaf in spite of the CI.

This kind of attitude serves to reduce the psychological risk of implanting deaf children.

An opinion on Cochlear Implants

The Cochlear Implant does not under any circumstances allow for deaf person to hear the same as a normal hearing person does!
Although I managed to mention this first, it should not discourage you from receiving a cochlear implant, in fact please take a look at the facts and myths page to educate you further on your decision. On a different note, let us talk about the impacts that the cochlear implant has, and will have on the deaf culture. 
In the deaf culture, a cochlear implant is viewed as negative procedure. Many feel as though it defies God's plan for you and that you should be happy with yourself rather than seek out a cochlear implant. But beyond all of these statements against the cochlear implant, it should raise the question, "Am I actually independent in today's hearing world?" Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that I have called (or will call) the deaf culture stupid, handicapped, or less human, answer the question without giving excuses. The hearing world is the vast majority of all people and unfortunately it has demanded that those of different heritage, language, and culture to mingle in order to make a united globe. Now more than ever, people learn multiple languages just to keep up with the developing world. This should be the civilized view of deaf culture instead of radicals on each side giving the rest of us a bad reputation on such a controversial subject. A cochlear implant should not be viewed as a means of denying truth or the individual but it should be viewed as a means of bridging together ASL and english. In fact the cochlear implant will never cause the deaf culture to go extinct because it is only approved for less than one percent
[8] of those who have hearing loss. Now before we add hatred and bigotry towards one another, let us be thankful for medical improvements. Change is a difficult path; however, it is imperative that we learn to love one another even when we disagree with each others decisions. It is not my place to tell you that you need a cochlear implant as it is not yours to tell me I should not. This is a great thing that we have here especially in the United States, and that is democracy. Although we have the ability to disagree and voice our opinions, we should also learn to listen to others and view it from another point of view (and that goes for all of us in this debate). Now I would like to ask all of those nonbelievers in the deaf community to research the impact of a cochlear implant. ASL will not die, it is a beautiful language and preventing your children from hearing is NOT the way to make sure it lives on. If your child is approved for this procedure, be a parent. Teach them what their heritage means, they will not reject your love especially after you showed them that you were willing to give them more opportunities. Every teenager has to go through a stage where they feel as though they will not fit. It does not have to do with you because you probably went through the same stage in your life. Be the parent that allows their child to explore their potential, be the parent that supports their child, and mostly be the parent that actually pays enough attention to their child so that they may also carry out the beautiful language of ASL and maybe then, the bridge between hearing and deaf will be constructed. It is your duty to build the future for tomorrow's generation. Please continue research through the related cites and also take part in the blog to share how important your culture is to you. Thank you so much for taking part in this great occasion that has called us together as one reunion to discuss a cure not to deafness, but to prejudice and discrimination. Please watch the video on bilingualism on the following page.


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