Appreciating the cochlear implant

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Sat Dec 6 16:21:42 UTC 2008

SignWriting List
December 6, 2008

Hello Gerard!
Thank you for this message.

Although the cochlear implant is an important subject to understand,  
it is technically not related to SignWriting at all...Two very  
different subjects. I am not an expert on the physical side of  
deafness and the issues that surround it, so I have to leave the  
discussion of cochlear implants to others...I hope others can answer  
you here on the List...

The cochlear implant does come up sometimes, when discussing writing  
sign languages with SignWriting, but that may be a misunderstanding by  
the people who are asking the questions...Sign languages are used by  
both deaf and hearing people around the world, and are real languages  
that would exist, whether there are good hearing aids or not...

One day, a hearing parent who had just given an operation of a  
cochlear implant to her deaf child, wrote to tell me that sign  
language would fade and die away, because now the cochlear implant was  
"curing deafness"...those were her exact words...and the implication  
of the email was that SignWriting would therefore not be used, because  
sign language itself would die out...

But I explained to her that sign languages are real languages, that  
would exist whether there are deaf people in the world or not...of  
course it is true that a lot of Deaf cultures use sign languages  
because they are necessary and natural, but even if deafness itself  
were cured, there will still be people using sign languages in the  
world...because they are naturally evolved languages that are used by  
many different kinds of people...and therefore, writing those  
languages will always be useful.

And last, I don't believe, that every deaf child in the world can  
afford such operations, and it is my understanding that in many cases,  
even after the cochlear implant is implanted, that the child is still  
a deaf child and needs an education like other deaf children...but  
that is what I heard from teachers of the deaf...I do not know more  
than that ;-))

Thanks again for your question -

Val ;-)


On Dec 6, 2008, at 6:04 AM, Gerard Meijssen wrote:

> Hoi,
> In several discussions about sign languages and SignWriting, the  
> subject of the cochlear implant was mentioned. I have been doing  
> some reading on the subject. I find it hard to learn what a cochlear  
> implant does for someone who gets an operation and has one  
> implanted. I learned that the operation is not without risks and the  
> soundfiles that I listened to on the Internet do not give 22 channel  
> quality.
> The Wikipedia article is deemed to be not good enough. So I am  
> really looking for an improved article and also in a better  
> appreciation of such devices.
> Thanks,
>      Gerard
> ____________________________________________
> SW-L SignWriting List
> Post Message
> SW-L at
> List Archives and Help
> Change Email Settings

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>
-------------- next part --------------


SW-L SignWriting List

Post Message
SW-L at

List Archives and Help

Change Email Settings

More information about the Sw-l mailing list