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How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture 510

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-flamewar-begin dept.
First time accepted submitter Maddie Kahn (3542515) writes "Deaf culture has its own language, its own social norms, its own art forms, its own theater. But it's under threat. Why? Because most parents of deaf children now choose to use technology to help their kids hear. This piece explores why a revolutionary technology stands accused of killing a culture."
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How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

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  • Re:Let it die (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @09:12PM (#46710111)

    It's not bringing a stone-age tribe into the modern era if they all die of modern era diseases.

  • by compwizrd (166184) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @09:21PM (#46710177) Homepage

    I am deaf myself, with a loss of 60+ db up to about 500-600 Hz and about 110db after that. Though I know ASL to a passable degree, I don't generally consider myself Deaf. I wore very high power hearing aids up till this year, when I had a cochlear implant put in.

    I'm now at week 3 after having my Med-El cochlear implant activated.

    I had basic speech understanding with lipreading about five minutes after being activated, and could easily follow the melody of music on the car ride home. Music sounded about the same as it does with hearing aids, or with it cranked way up on speakers/headphones... In other words, the sound quality of the implant was nowhere near AM radio quality... a bit off from CD quality, but not hugely.

    After three weeks, I'm starting to be to understand speech without lipreading for some people, and lyrics in music are starting to come in for me, and music has smoothed out in the upper frequencies that i couldn't hear properly in before.

    I now hear with around a 15db loss, and that is still being adjusted and programmed as my ears adjust.

    As an example of the difference in hearing, I tried dropping a raisin on the ground a few weeks ago, and clearly heard it hit the tile.. before I'd have to drop the whole bag of them. I can clearly hear the claws of the dog walking across the floor.. from another room. Could never hear the turn signal or headlight warning in the car before, now they're louder than the car to me.

    Everyones experience varies with the implants, but it's not always as bad as Rush's has turned out.

    My wife has the same cochlear implant as me, and has had it for about three years. The most clear sign that they can do almost miracles was about a year or two ago when we went to a friends wedding.. about 150-200 people in a very large and noisy room. My hearing aids were doing nothing for me in the noise, even telling that someone was talking was impossible. She was able to listen from across the room with her implant and interpret into ASL for me.

  • Re:Let it die (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @09:53PM (#46710377)

    Its been 15 years. I still sign fairly well. Not as well as I used to, but I can still hold a conversation in SEE/Pidgen. I can understand ASL, but being so far out of practice, the syntax trips me up.

    Deaf culture needs to go away.

    One of its core beliefs is that hearing people exist to support deaf people. They look at hearing people as second class people.
    They look at those that get implants as traitors.

    Yes, deaf culture needs to go away.

  • Re:Let it die (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jiro (131519) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @10:48PM (#46710689)

    Steve Jobs had a type of pancreatic cancer that is far more curable than the average variety. If he had gotten medical treatment immediately instead of using alternative medicine, there's a good chance he would have lived. Two minutes Googling would have brought up this information.

  • by Sentrion (964745) on Wednesday April 09, 2014 @11:18PM (#46710821)

    One day we may have cures for just about all disease, maybe even "old age" itself. And think about how horrible that will be! Knowing that you are still going to die, but it won't be peacefully in your home with your family at your bedside. You could end up like Draco, smothered to death by gifts of cloaks and hats showered upon him by appreciative citizens at a theatre [620 BC]. Or you might end up like martyr Saint Lawrence, patron saint of cooks, who was roasted alive on a giant grill during the persecution of Valerian [258AD]. Prudentius tells that he joked with his tormentors, "Turn me over — I'm done on this side".

    As we grow older we could end up dying in ways we could not have ever imagined, like Hans Steininger, the burgomaster of Braunau, Austria, who died when he broke his neck by tripping over his own beard [1567 AD].

    If age alone is one day no longer terminal, then we will probably have to keep working indefinitely. This only increases the odds of dying while pursuing our occasionally dangerous professions, such as Clement Vallandigham, a lawyer and Ohio politician defending a man on a charge of murder, who accidentally shot himself demonstrating how the victim might have shot himself while in the process of drawing a weapon when standing from a kneeling position.

    So maybe you plan on spending eternity very carefully, not even to venture outside to avoid such horrendous impending deaths waiting to happen. Well, that didn't work for Joao Maria de Souza, who was killed while asleep, by a cow that fell through the roof of his house onto his bed in 2013.

    Just thinking about all of the horrible ways to die can drive a person to madness, but in the end maybe there is one next-best-thing to knowing how you are going to die in six months while counting down the last days on your death bed, with enough time to tell your loved ones goodbye or changing your will to cut out your less-than-loved ones. And maybe that's taking matters into your own hands, like David Phyall, the last resident in a block of flats due to be demolished near Southampton, England, who decapitated himself with a chainsaw to highlight the injustice of being forced to move out. Ya. That'll show 'em!

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