I went to an amazing hands-on workshop last week about cochlear implants. It was so interactive. The best thing about this was that we all knew it was PRO cochlear implants. So, noone there was pushing the reasons why cochlear implants are great, or why signing is bad,or why hearing aids are not good,etc. Noone gave any opinions. It was a factual presentation based on three companies: Cochlear, Advanced Bionics and Med-El. It was very cool to see all the parts and rip them apart, put them together, learn to trouble shoot,etc. I have been working with students who use CI" s for years. I have gone to trainings about them for years. However,the big difference is the one sidedness that the presentations have had. It makes you want to close off, become defensive,not listen. I am a big believer in unbiased family therapy. I am all for cochlear implants for families who understand them and are committed to the time they need to invest. So,that being said, I need to be up there learning it all.
I invite you ALL to investigate their websites-they have great auditory and language based activities for FREE already created on them. They have live and saved webinars. Tney explain cochlear implants. Am I suggesting you all go and get one?NOT at all. I love ASL and see many families who are happy and doing great with hearing aids or staying fully deaf.
Remember, our goal is COMMUNICATION and CONNECTIONS...there are many ways to get there! Go check them out and let me know if your defenses go down, you are willing to say the word without cringing and if you are a supporter/user, have you learned anything new? It was a fabulous day that I am so grateful to have been a part of!
Allison Schley has been in the field of deaf and hard of hearing education for 20 years. She founded a nonprofit for families with hearing loss. She most recently wrote a children's book, entitled Forever Friends. This book shows the how a deaf dog and deaf boy teach the world that all kids are good and being deaf is okay.