A Cochlear Implant Isn’T Inherently Bad, But It Isn’T Inherently Good, Either; It Is A Neutral Piece Of Technology, A Tool, Like A Hammer.

“Expecting an implant to cure deafness or magically generate speech is to await the moment the hammer will fly out of one’s hand and build a house on its own. The value of the tool lies only in the skill of its user, and for the cochlear implant user, that skill is learned with much […]

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A Cochlear Implant Isn’T Inherently Bad, But It Isn’T Inherently Good, Either; It Is A Neutral Piece Of Technology, A Tool, Like A Hammer.

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“Expecting an implant to cure deafness or magically generate speech is to await the moment the hammer will fly out of one’s hand and build a house on its own. The value of the tool lies only in the skill of its user, and for the cochlear implant user, that skill is learned with much effort. To suggest otherwise is to give a disingenuous prognosis to potential patients and their parents,...

“Expecting an implant to cure deafness or magically generate speech is to await the moment the hammer will fly out of one’s hand and build a house on its own. The value of the tool lies only in the skill of its user, and for the cochlear implant user, that skill is learned with much effort. To suggest otherwise is to give a disingenuous prognosis to potential patients and their parents, and discounts the hard work successful C.I. users do to communicate in a way the hearing world deems acceptable.”

From “A Clearer Message on Cochlear Implants/Portrayals of this technology as a ‘miracle’ for deaf people overlook its potential downsides and challenges” (NYT) by Sara Novic, an assistant professor of creative writing who is deaf and chooses not to have a cochlear implant, because — as she explains to her students — “I’m happy with how I am now” or…

I explain that deafness offers me a unique perspective on the world, or joke that I like it quiet when I’m writing, but I always end with a fact: “It would be a big commitment — learning to use a cochlear implant takes a lot of work.”

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