Cochlear implants are electronic devices that sends signals directly to the auditory nerve. Cochlear implants consist of external parts which include the microphone, speech processor, and the transmitter. They also consist of internal parts that must be surgically placed under the skin including the receiver and electrical array. In order for the implant to work, the microphone must pick up sounds from the environment. The speech processor is responsible for selecting, arranging, and sending the sounds to the transmitter. The transmitter and receiver receives the signals and converts them to electrical impulses. From here the electrical impulses travel to the electrical array in the cochlea and sends the signals to different regions of the auditory nerve (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 2016). Cochlear implants can benefit individuals with a sensorineural hearing loss.
A sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) occurs when there is damage to the cochlea or the central auditory pathway. SNHL can be caused by a variety factors including illnesses, drugs, genetics, trauma, and malformations (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, n.d.). Cochlear implants can compensate for this type of hearing loss because they bypass the damaged parts in the middle and inner ear and send signals directly to the auditory nerve needed for hearing. Even th...
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... and live in a hearing world rather than a deaf one (All Things Considered, 2012).
Even though most of the hearing community feels that cochlear implants are a “cure” for deafness, they should respect the Deaf community’s views. Many hearing people do not take the time to listen to the Deaf community as they just assume that they are being “selfish” as they do not want to change. The Deaf community does not want the hearing community to change them. If we try to change the Deaf community, we are trying to change their language and culture. The Deaf community relies on American Sign Language just as many of us rely on English. We would not want anyone to try to convince us to change our language just so we can communicate with the general population. Being deaf is not a disability, but rather a culture that most of the hearing community is going to have to respect.
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