Cochlear Implants: The Death of Sign Language?

Seth Thatcher snatchcat at YAHOO.COM
Thu Nov 14 20:02:51 UTC 2002

I read an article in Issues and Contraversies over the recent advances in
hearing aid technology.  Cochlear implants seem to be getting more popular
and made more affordable for the general public, and some experts
speculate that the continuation of implants within new born deaf children
will eventually end deaf culture with the elimination of sign language.
Is this feasible?  It seems that sign language is a constant means of
communication throughout all society, and not confined to the deaf.  The
study also mentioned that other experts in linguistics claim that
regardless of how many implants get performed, sign language will remain a
part of the children and families who have the procedure.  I'm still
wavering on the issue: while I find it fascinating that one day our
society could end deafness, it seems that it is not worth the price of
ending a language.  I was curious as to the opinions of those in the
discussion group on this issue.

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