The hearing impaired community is considered as a culture within the multicultural society. Hearing impaired people have their own method of communication and a way of living which is unique.
Adults who have been deaf all their lives are comfortable with their mode of communication and feel threatened with cochlear implants and how their life may change due to this. They feel that they can have a perfectly happy life while not being able to hear because they do not know anything different.
There is a feeling that cochlear implant is being forced on them. They believe that deafness is not a handicap but a culture for them. It is felt that people who are not deaf are judging the deaf with their own yardsticks.
Attempts at fixing the hearing impaired have been protested by the hearing impaired themselves. According to them the deaf children also should not be fixed like hearing people but should be introduced to the deaf culture where the children belong. This has given rise to a heated debate on the need for cochlear implant for the deaf.
The sound that is heard through a cochlear implant by a deaf person is a synthetic sound and not the natural sound that is heard through the normal ears. The children with cochlear implant may not be easily accepted by the children of the hearing community. Due to this a child with cochlear implant may have to attend a school meant for the hearing impaired. A bionic ear can become an easy target for low esteem.
For adults who lost hearing in later life, cochlear implant is a boon and it can help them to restore a part of the hearing loss. They may still not be able to lead a perfectly normal life but it is still better than nothing. Cost of the cochlear implant is also prohibitive and it has life of 15 years or so. Insurance provides for only one implant. One has to go for another implant and the person may not afford the second implant. Unless all these issues are addressed, the usefulness of the technology may not be utilized.
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