Cochlear Implants – How Do You Vote?


Before you begin reading this blog, please keep in mind that I am neither in favor of, or against cochlear implants.

As a teacher for the deaf, many of my students have  cochlear implants, hearing aids, or had no amplification at all.   In an controlled environment, the students wearing cochlear implants could hear pretty well.  For example, if I was sitting at my desk and the students were quietly working, I could call out the name of one of the students that had the implant, and he or she would respond.   However, if I needed a student who did not have a cochlear implant, I would ask one of the students with the implant to tap the student with no amplification on the shoulder, or desk .  In deaf culture, to get someone’s attention, you simply tap the individual on the shoulder or lightly wave your hand from a distance to gain their attention.  You DO NOT throw something at the deaf person, nor do you jump up and down while waving your arms and hands in a dramatic fashion.

A good friend of mine has many family members who suffer with some degree of hearing loss.   In fact, at the age of 20, if a member of the family does not begin experiencing some signs of hearing loss, that was reason for celebration.    Currently, he has nearly 50 family members who are either profoundly deaf, or have some degree of hearing loss.  Some of his immediate family members decided to get an implant to see how much it would help.  Today, some of them are  now able to talk on the phone.

These are just two examples of how cochlear implants have helped in the classroom and in a large family.

According to a cochlear implant is a surgically implanted device that helps overcome problems in the inner ear, or cochlea. The cochlea is a snail-shaped, curled tube located in the area of the ear where nerves are contained. Its function is to gather electrical signals from sound vibrations and transmit them to your auditory nerve (or hearing nerve). The hearing nerve then sends these signals to the brain, where they’re translated into recognizable sounds.

How do you feel about cochlear implants?  Do you know someone that has or had one?

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