Neither Deaf nor Hearing

What Is Life Like After a Cochlear Implant for a Person Born Deaf

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.

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