Answer by Cristina Hartmann, writer:
Posted Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at 5:04 PM (Slate Magazine)
The lead is: “Well, this is a tough question for me since I’ve lived far more years with a cochlear implant (CI) than without.
In 1991, I was one of the first 500 children to get a CI after FDA approval of pediatric CIs. I was 6 years old.
A few months prior, my mother had asked me if I wanted to hear. I said yes at once since I wanted to know what the fuss was all about. As my mom explained the operation to me, I got this sense that it’d be magic. (OK, I wasn’t a bright 6-year-old.)”
Again, recommended reading for those considering a CI or interested in what people wearing a CI experience. As with most types of hearing augmentation one ends up neither quite fish or fowl. Individuals lose their Deaf identity without acquiring a Hearing identity. Is it a more positive or negative impact? We will never know unless or until all children who are Deaf at birth can be magically made fully hearing.