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Showing posts from October, 2011

Are cochlear implant users deaf?

John Lee Clark's post titled "Cochlear Implants: A Thought Experiment" hit on one topic I have given a bit of thought to myself:

     If you cannot hear without your CI or hearing aids, are you deaf?

This may seem like a simple question, but I think outside the Deaf community, so little thought is given to deafness in general that it becomes unclear what the answer is.

The way I see it is through an analogy.  Suppose someone loses their legs in an accident.  Now they have a wheelchair.  Are they no longer physically disabled?  I mean, the wheelchair gives them mobility, right?  Oh, but we need to pay attention to the imperfections of the solution of the wheelchair.  Much like CI and hearing aids, a wheelchair can provide great help in achieving a more mainstream life, but what about those stairs?  What about those stores that place aisles too close together?  What about climbing on a stepstool to reach a top shelf?  At the end of the day, the person in the wheelchair is …