Why didn’t I get a cochlear implant?

Not too long ago, I actually thought about getting a cochlear implant so I can start talking to hearing people and maybe on phone but I realize there are no guarantees that I would be able to carry intelligible speech and my past speech therapy didn’t go so well either. Also, I didn’t have a desire to hear human voices that sound more like “a croaking dalek with laryngitis.”

I just read this article – “Better ear implant hope for deaf” – from BBC News. Suddenly, I know why I didn’t want a cochlear implant. It’s those kind of technology advances that discouraged me from wanting one. Why? because if you got a cochlear implant today, chances that in five years from now, it’s going to be pretty much out of date, just like your computer that got old and slow. Younger generations will have better, more powerful cochlear implants than you do. I’d imagine that at a C.I. convention, people with C.I. ask each other, “what kind of cochlear implant do you have?” “Oh, it’s 2.0, pretty old.” “Oh, mine’s 82.435 version.”

Also, I hate the idea that if you got one, you’d be more successful and able to fit into the “real world” better. That’s completely untrue.

I’ve been born deaf, raised by Deaf parents, went to a deaf school, then Gallaudet University, transferred to RIT and graduated there. So, even if I got a cochlear implant, I’d still hang out with deaf friends anyway, because ASL is my natural language and the one that I understand most easily. Besides, what’s wrong with teaching ASL to hearing people? There’s a lot of people who are interested in learning ASL.

I understand that we’re a nation that loves to fix anything that’s broken but being Deaf doesn’t mean your ears are broken. That’s just who you are and I’m quite happy with the way I am.