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Cochlear Implants

            The ability to hear is something that most people take for granted. However, for those children who have lost their hearing since they were born and for those people whose hearing has been impaired for certain reasons such as accidents or diseases, the chance to recover impaired hearing or the sense of hearing lost has been almost impossible until recently. Nearly two decades ago, advanced medical research introduced a "lifesaving" technology, cochlear implants, for those profoundly deaf children and adults. It was not until early 1980s that the cochlear implants were first approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in deaf adults and children and it has become serious issue in deaf community. The development of cochlear implants is being recognized as one of the major social issues in Europe, especially in Australia where it originated from and in the United States. The fact that Cochlear implant, a device that "sends electrical signals directly to the nerves of the inner ear, via implanted electrodes with wires" (Issues and Controversies), is the only possible way for those profoundly deaf people to alter deafness and function in larger hearing societies is something that no one can deny. However, many critics oppose that cochlear implant will destroy deaf communities and deaf culture including American Sign Language (ASL). On the other hand, some people support that cochlear implants as the only lifesaving technology that can alter deafness and enhance opportunities and possibilities for profoundly deaf people who cannot be helped by hearing aids to function in the hearing world. As a supporter of cochlear implants, instead of confining to the deaf society with limited opportunities, I believe that the implantation is the best means ever available to deaf adults and children to live as normal life as possible and assures deaf people possible productive life in hearing world.

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