Appreciating the cochlear implant

Bill Reese wreese01 at TAMPABAY.RR.COM
Sat Dec 6 20:27:30 UTC 2008

Perhaps I should not mention that I have a cochlear implant as I'm 
late-deafened and don't really fit into the category of a born or 
cultural deaf person whose first language is sign language.  However, I 
and others in my ALDA-Suncoast support group have cochlear implants and 
we all still sign.  It's pidgin sign, not ASL, and used to get across 
what we are saying in English.  The implant doesn't help any of us hear 
100%.  For some, it's more like they're deaf as opposed to stone deaf.  
For others, they can enjoy music.  But when we're together as a group, 
sign language, speechreading, writing notes (total communication) is 
what we do.

I believe, just by the nature of that fact, it may be imputed that a 
born or cultural deaf child who gets an implant and who is immersed in 
Deaf culture would still naturally use sign language.

A few things to consider:
1. At night, the implant is usually turned off and the deaf person is deaf.
2. When swimming, the device is off and the deaf person is deaf.
3. When the implant's battery dies and the person has no spare, they're 
4. When they just don't feel like wearing the implant, they're deaf.

In short, the implant isn't used 24/7 and sign language is still needed.


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
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