Deafness - to hear or not to hear



  • dayfre and I are talking about whither or not to get a copular implant.

    My friend was born deaf and as such doesn't miss the aspect of hearing. He was fortunate enough to be surround by understanding people who didn't try to force him to fit in. He has no desire to get a copluar implant.



  • That's common. People born blind rarely want to see. They might realize that they are missing something and dislike being left out, of course. But few actually want the addition of sight added later in life.


  • Banned

    For children this sounds amazing.

    For adults? Up to them really.



  • This has been a discussion in my family for years. My brother is profoundly deaf and my sister is hard of hearing.

    My brother is unable to get the implant but would love to as he has little to no hearing even with his special hearing aid (one ear only). My sister could care less.



  • I went to a deaf rally as part of my ASL courses a few years ago - the thing that struck me was how the speaker was really preaching ASL power which felt like what it was probably like back in the 60's hearing about black power. It was rather off putting.

    I understand the need to accept oneself with the situations life's thrown at them, but this seemed over the top for that.



  • It's hard to imagine but if there was a new sense discovered and they were going to hook inputs up to your brain and feed in signals you have never had before and let your brain adjust to it..... Likely you would not want that either.



  • That sums up the range of feelings that go with it... If you have a desire to see/hear, then you should see what is out there.

    @Minion-Queen -- why is your brother unable to get the implant? Health insurance won't pay or what? Since your sister doesn't are she's probably better off hard of hearing, lol.

    A cochlear implant isn't like a hearing aid... It takes a lot of work to learn how to use. Folks I know that have them say everything sounds kinda tinny and robotic at first until your brain figures out how to connect the dots.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I went to a deaf rally as part of my ASL courses a few years ago - the thing that struck me was how the speaker was really preaching ASL power which felt like what it was probably like back in the 60's hearing about black power. It was rather off putting.

    I understand the need to accept oneself with the situations life's thrown at them, but this seemed over the top for that.

    A very strong pro-deaf community has long existed. It is good for empowerment but it undermines the groups ability to deal with cures because so often they refuse to see it as a problem. So those that seek treatment can be ostracized or shamed or just feel weak.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I went to a deaf rally as part of my ASL courses a few years ago - the thing that struck me was how the speaker was really preaching ASL power which felt like what it was probably like back in the 60's hearing about black power. It was rather off putting.

    I understand the need to accept oneself with the situations life's thrown at them, but this seemed over the top for that.

    I think any type of (common) sign language is something good to learn at least a little bit of. My 4 year old isn't talking on his own yet, so we are teaching him to sign what he wants (and then we make him say it, lol). So it is fun for my wife and I to learn a few basic things along the way too.

    However, we do live in a hearing world, and for somebody who had it and lost it (like I did), getting (even some of) it back is worth it.



  • I don't consider that the same at all.

    That would be a whole new sense that currently no one has - or very few. Your lack of having it compared to the general population wouldn't put you at a disadvantage.

    Being deaf or blind definitely puts you at a disadvantage compared to the general population. Can you overcome it, probably, at least in many cases but there will always be those things you simply can't participate in because of the lack of sense.

    Now assuming you've lacked that sense your whole life (or since so young you have no memory) you might not realize what you're missing, so you're probably able to live a pretty happy life, but you will always know that there is something missing just by the reactions of those around you.

    But if you loose that sense after you have a set memory of it - I can definitely understand how difficult/nar impossible that might be to get over and adjust your life around.



  • The deaf community has a faction that is against restoring hearing, and they won't give cochlear implants to their deaf kids.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    A very strong pro-deaf community has long existed. It is good for empowerment but it undermines the groups ability to deal with cures because so often they refuse to see it as a problem. So those that seek treatment can be ostracized or shamed or just feel weak.

    This is definitely true . I've seen arguments break out on facebook over getting a cure or staying deaf. I have been fortunate in that the pro-deaf people I know are simply good folks who won't bash you for wanting to hear again.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    I went to a deaf rally as part of my ASL courses a few years ago - the thing that struck me was how the speaker was really preaching ASL power which felt like what it was probably like back in the 60's hearing about black power. It was rather off putting.

    I understand the need to accept oneself with the situations life's thrown at them, but this seemed over the top for that.

    A very strong pro-deaf community has long existed. It is good for empowerment but it undermines the groups ability to deal with cures because so often they refuse to see it as a problem. So those that seek treatment can be ostracized or shamed or just feel weak.

    Yeah I've heard about those stories too.



  • @Dashrender said:

    But if you loose that sense after you have a set memory of it - I can definitely understand how difficult/nar impossible that might be to get over and adjust your life around.

    ^ This + 10,000

    My hearing didn't go out over night... It started when I was around 12 and didn't really get really really bad until about 8 or 9 years ago. I wore hearing aids growing up, but my hearing got so bad that I would go through batteries designed to last 2 weeks in 2 or 3 days. My family could barely afford the batteries, but by that time I had gotten good enough at lip reading to fake it.

    Even now, in a 1-on-1 conversation, most folks can't tell that I'm deaf. Put me in a group and I'm in bad shape, lol. There's ways to fix the type of hearing loss that I have with a cochlear implant, and I encourage anybody who used to be able to hear but can't now to get it checked out.



  • @dafyre said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    A very strong pro-deaf community has long existed. It is good for empowerment but it undermines the groups ability to deal with cures because so often they refuse to see it as a problem. So those that seek treatment can be ostracized or shamed or just feel weak.

    This is definitely true . I've seen arguments break out on facebook over getting a cure or staying deaf. I have been fortunate in that the pro-deaf people I know are simply good folks who won't bash you for wanting to hear again.

    That's an interesting discussion - it would be interesting to know where they stand - if they feel differently if the person was born (or lost very young age) hearing versus losing it later in life?

    I can understand the desire to stay deaf if that's all you've ever known - don't think of yourself as broken or handicapped so no reason to 'fix' you - you're simply different. That would be like a black person thinking they were broken because they weren't white, and if science had a way to turn them white, that they would (extreme example - hope no one is offended).

    But if you had hearing and you loose it, then I'd say you are now considered broken, and most people would want to be 'fixed' to their previous state.



  • @dafyre when you wrote a few weeks ago that you were deaf (don't recall the post) I would never have guessed. But the fact that you lost your hearing later in life that explains it.

    Most people who I've met that were born deaf don't write like hearing people unless they are in a profession that requires it. Instead they use shorthand that mimics ASL or ESL. At times this has presented it's own challenges in our communications, but it's understandable - there isn't time to add the formality of the spoken word to signing.



  • (this was ripped from the other thread)
    @scottalanmiller said:

    There is a big difference between people who know how to hear and miss it and those that don't know it. I have several dead friends who hVe lacked hearing either always or from before they can remember and few want to hear. Either because lacking a sense means you have no idea what is being missed, or because the brain isn't prepared to process all of that or simply because wanting that back would counter a lifelong fight for identity.

    I do hope you mean deaf friends, lol. But yeah. I really think it's going to be the brain isn't prepared to process all of that... Suddenly you are bing bombarded by things that your brain has never dealt with before (or hasn't dealt with in a long time)... It can be a bit of overload.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @dafyre when you wrote a few weeks ago that you were deaf (don't recall the post) I would never have guessed. But the fact that you lost your hearing later in life that explains it.

    Yeah... but you also can't hear me (pun intended) sound like Elmer Fudd (eh, eh, eh, eh) from time to time.

    Most people who I've met that were born deaf don't write like hearing people unless they are in a profession that requires it. Instead they use shorthand that mimics ASL or ESL. At times this has presented it's own challenges in our communications, but it's understandable - there isn't time to add the formality of the spoken word to signing.

    This is what makes it hard sometimes for someone who learned hearing english to understand someone who speaks or writes ASL or ESL if you don't know / understand the sign language.



  • @dafyre said:

    That sums up the range of feelings that go with it... If you have a desire to see/hear, then you should see what is out there.

    @Minion-Queen -- why is your brother unable to get the implant? Health insurance won't pay or what? Since your sister doesn't are she's probably better off hard of hearing, lol.

    A cochlear implant isn't like a hearing aid... It takes a lot of work to learn how to use. Folks I know that have them say everything sounds kinda tinny and robotic at first until your brain figures out how to connect the dots.
    My brother has damage to both nerves and his ear drum it's self so the implant will not work for him.

    My sister says what's the point? She is only hard of hearing and has amazing digital hearing aids. She loves being able to tune out the world if she chooses.



  • @Minion-Queen said:

    @dafyre said:

    That sums up the range of feelings that go with it... If you have a desire to see/hear, then you should see what is out there.

    @Minion-Queen -- why is your brother unable to get the implant? Health insurance won't pay or what? Since your sister doesn't are she's probably better off hard of hearing, lol.

    A cochlear implant isn't like a hearing aid... It takes a lot of work to learn how to use. Folks I know that have them say everything sounds kinda tinny and robotic at first until your brain figures out how to connect the dots.
    My brother has damage to both nerves and his ear drum it's self so the implant will not work for him.

    My sister says what's the point? She is only hard of hearing and has amazing digital hearing aids. She loves being able to tune out the world if she chooses.

    I'm like that with glasses. I mostly appreciate that in bed or in the shower that the outside world kind of goes away.



  • @Dashrender said:

    I went to a deaf rally as part of my ASL courses a few years ago - the thing that struck me was how the speaker was really preaching ASL power which felt like what it was probably like back in the 60's hearing about black power. It was rather off putting.

    I understand the need to accept oneself with the situations life's thrown at them, but this seemed over the top for that.

    The Deaf Power movement is a bit militant. My ex sister in law is profoundly deaf, her son is hearing impaired and would be able to communicate fine if he wore his hearing aids and actually participated in speech. However she wont let him wear his hearing aids at home and will not allow even my hearing niece to vocalize in her house. It's a bit crazy.



  • @Minion-Queen said:

    @Dashrender said:

    I went to a deaf rally as part of my ASL courses a few years ago - the thing that struck me was how the speaker was really preaching ASL power which felt like what it was probably like back in the 60's hearing about black power. It was rather off putting.

    I understand the need to accept oneself with the situations life's thrown at them, but this seemed over the top for that.

    The Deaf Power movement is a bit militant. My ex sister in law is profoundly deaf, her son is hearing impaired and would be able to communicate fine if he wore his hearing aids and actually participated in speech. However she wont let him wear his hearing aids at home and will not allow even my hearing niece to vocalize in her house. It's a bit crazy.

    That's much of what I have seen. The deaf seem to want everyone to be deaf and will actively work against people attempting to overcome deafness or to interact with the outside world like hearing people do.



  • My brother is has been profoundly deaf since birth.... He has for years worked as a social worker for those with disabilities and also as an interpreter some. He went to school in a regular school that had an AMAZING hearing impaired program that focused on speech and music and being able to function in the hearing world. It's about your attitude more than anything how you fit into the world.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Minion-Queen said:

    @Dashrender said:

    I went to a deaf rally as part of my ASL courses a few years ago - the thing that struck me was how the speaker was really preaching ASL power which felt like what it was probably like back in the 60's hearing about black power. It was rather off putting.

    I understand the need to accept oneself with the situations life's thrown at them, but this seemed over the top for that.

    The Deaf Power movement is a bit militant. My ex sister in law is profoundly deaf, her son is hearing impaired and would be able to communicate fine if he wore his hearing aids and actually participated in speech. However she wont let him wear his hearing aids at home and will not allow even my hearing niece to vocalize in her house. It's a bit crazy.

    That's much of what I have seen. The deaf seem to want everyone to be deaf and will actively work against people attempting to overcome deafness or to interact with the outside world like hearing people do.

    I have not see that be the situation locally - thankfully. In fact, when I run into a deaf person, they surprised and very happy more often than not that I can sign - granted not great or anything, but enough to get by.



  • I worked with a profoundly deaf guy at IBM who was so good at speaking and lip reading that people would to him from behind who worked with him everyday because they never knew he was deaf at all. We shared an office and sometimes I'd be like "You do realize he's completely deaf and doesn't know you are in the room, let alone speaking, right?"



  • I feel at a disadvantage most of the time for communicating in the deaf community. I was taught Rochester Method (completely finger spelling everything said) or ESL. That doesn't translate to ASL at all.



  • @Minion-Queen said:

    I feel at a disadvantage most of the time for communicating in the deaf community. I was taught Rochester Method (completely finger spelling everything said) or ESL. That doesn't translate to ASL at all.

    That the deaf community is heavily divided does not help them any.



  • Maybe the biggest question is not "when to hear", but when does "not hearing" turn into "not listening"?



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    Maybe the biggest question is not "when to hear", but when does "not hearing" turn into "not listening"?

    For anybody with hearing aids... when they turn them off and make it look like they are just scratching their ears, lol.



  • @Minion-Queen said:

    It's about your attitude more than anything how you fit into the world.

    This is a good life lesson for anybody with or without disabilities.


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