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Cochlear Implants

Evolving Perspectives

Raylene Paludneviciene and Irene W. Leigh, Editors

Publication Year: 2011

The cochlear implant debate has changed, as evidenced in this cogent collection that presents 13 chapters by 20 experts, including several who communicate through sign language but also utilize cochlear implants. The impetus for this change stems from recognition that both visual and aural input can enhance the education of deaf children. Divided into four sections, Cochlear Implants: Evolving Perspectives first focuses on the impact of implants in the Deaf community. Chapters in this section examine the issues driving the cochlear implant debate, the ethics of genetic engineering, experiences of implanted adult deaf signers, reflections of deaf mothers who have had their children implanted, and the effects of implants on deaf identity. The second section delves into the mechanics of bimodal processing, including listening strategies that can benefit signing children with cochlear implants. The third section surveys combined aural/visual educational approaches, such as teaching implanted children in an ASL/English bilingual classroom, and applying auditory rehabilitation to a signed communication context. The final section challenges readers to reframe the debate first by exploring sensory politics, then by envisioning an emerging world that requires the Deaf community to connect with it to secure its future. With this information, readers will reach their own conclusions about cochlear implants and auditory and visual approaches to the mastery of both spoken and signed languages.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xi

For many members of the Deaf community, the issue of cochlear implants has been fraught with trepidation, anger, frustration, and outright rejection of the concept that surgical insertion of an auditory device is required to restore a sense that is ”missing.” A good number of these members saw it as an attack on a ”visual way of living” and on their signed languages. They also feared the loss of their culture,...

Part I: The Deaf Community and Cochlear Implants

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1. Impact of Cochlear Implantson the Deaf Community

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pp. 3-19

Due to recent improvements in cochlear implant (CI) technology and the trend toward early implantation in infants as young as 6 months of age, how deaf children acquire spoken language has changed significantly. Recent research has demonstrated the dramatic improvement in spoken language for many of these...

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2. Genetic Research, Bioethical Issues, and Cochlear Implants: An Overview of the Issues Affecting the Deaf Community

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pp. 20-38

The Deaf community has always had flexibility and foresight in adapting to innovative developments in technology. The products of researchers and engineers from hearing aids to telecommunication devices to the Internet and vlogs have been rapidly incorporated into Deaf culture and used to strengthen the Deaf community. As the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) position paper on...

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3. Cochlear Implants and Deaf Community Perceptions

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pp. 39-55

During the past quarter century, there has been significant opposition to cochlear implantation, especially the implantation of children, among many people who consider themselves part of the culturally Deaf community. Beginning in the 1980s, national organizations of deaf people throughout the world, as well as the World Federation of the Deaf, have frequently gone on record against pediatric cochlear...

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4. How Deaf Adult Signers Experience Implants: Some Preliminary Conclusions

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pp. 56-70

We define “Deaf adult signers” as adults who use sign language as a primary mode of communication some or all of the time and who have a large number of Deaf friends, family members, or colleagues with whom they regularly socialize. In recent decades, legal, social, and technological changes have significantly reshaped Deaf communities. One of the more recent changes was the development of...

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5. My Child Can Have More Choices: Reflections of Deaf Mothers on Cochlear Implants for Their Children

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pp. 71-94

Deaf children have more opportunities in the 21st century than ever before. Many of these opportunities are accompanied by a host of choices thrust upon parents/ caregivers in the first few months of their child’s life. Although the literature focuses almost exclusively on the decisions and opportunities that hearing families face, few researchers have investigated deaf families’ experiences (Meadow-Orlans,...

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6. Cochlear Implants: Implications for Deaf Identities

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pp. 95-110

How can a certain piece of technology influence one’s identity? In the case of cochlear implants, what is the relationship between having a cochlear implant and one’s identity development? This chapter will attempt to address this by exploring the concept of identity, how it evolves, what deaf-related identities are all about, the various perceptions of cochlear implants, and their role in psychosocial/identity development....

Part II: Language and Auditory Processing

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7. Bimodal Processing of Language for Cochlear Implant Users

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pp. 113-141

It is not uncommon for implant teams or therapists to request that families of individuals receiving cochlear implants (CIs) cease or limit use of visual modes of communication following implantation (Moores, 2009). However, research with hearing participants indicates that speech is perceived through a combination of vision and audition (Bernstein, Auer, Wagner, & Ponton, 2008;...

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8. Listening Strategies to Facilitate Spoken Language Learning Among Signing Children With Cochlear Implants

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pp. 142-171

Deafness typically places children in the minority of communities. Less than 5% of children who are deaf have at least one parent who is deaf (Mitchell & Karchmer, 2004), and many parents with typical hearing do not communicate either effectively or typically with their children in signed language (Marschark, 2001; Mitchell & Karchmer, 2005; Surian, 2010). Some children with severe-profound deafness have..

Part III: Educational Approaches

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9. The Cochlear Implant Education Center: Perspectives on Effective Educational Practices

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pp. 175-205

The number of children using cochlear implant technology is growing.1 With this growth has emerged a population of children who are similar in the technology they are using, yet disparate in their demographic characteristics and spoken language communication outcomes (Belzner & Seal, 2009). Although the demographics of children using cochlear implant technology are wide ranging,...

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10. Educating Children With Cochlear Implants in an ASL/English Bilingual Classroom

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pp. 206-228

The growing number of children receiving cochlear implants and the variability in their speech and language outcomes (Pisoni et al., 2008) has brought increased attention to their educational needs (Leigh, 2008). Within the medical community, emphasis on the exclusive use of spoken language following implantation continues to prevail (Moog, 2007). The use of a signed language with these...

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11. Application of Auditory (Re)habilitation Teaching Behaviors to a Signed Communication Education Context

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pp. 229-241

This chapter focuses explicitly on teaching behaviors that can be used by the teacher of the deaf1 to facilitate the auditory-based spoken language development of students in a signed communication education environment. It presents potential challenges the teacher of the deaf may face in this special learning context. What this chapter does not do is prescribe when auditory-based spoken language...

Part IV: Some Final Thoughts

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12. Sensory Politics and the Cochlear Implant Debates

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pp. 245-258

The cochlear implant controversy is frequently portrayed by popular media and framed by stakeholders as a battle between science and technology versus culture. Cochlear implant proponents claim that early childhood is the most critical period of development if implants are to increase spoken language and literacy development. On the other end, members of the Deaf community assert that cochlear...

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Embracing Change: Cochlear Implants and the New Deaf Community Paradigm

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pp. 259-272

The U.S. Deaf community has reached a moment of unprecedented transition. The advent of cochlear implants and other auditory technology, the improvements in medical care and early hearing loss detection, the rise and ubiquity of mainstreaming for deaf students, and the financial uncertainties of the current era are leading the community toward new and unknown realities. The future of the community is...


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pp. 273-277


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pp. 279-289

E-ISBN-13: 9781563685040
E-ISBN-10: 1563685043
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563685033
Print-ISBN-10: 1563685035

Page Count: 520
Illustrations: 6 tables, 2 figures
Publication Year: 2011