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Sound and Fury
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Cochlear Implants
how the implant works debate over the implant hearing aid history essay
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Since it was first approved for testing in 1985, the cochlear implant has been engulfed in a storm of controversy. Does the cochlear implant pose a serious threat to deaf culture? Can people with the implant function effectively as members of the hearing world? Do the results justify the expense of surgery and therapy? To find out, we asked two advocates for the hearing impaired to discuss the issues.

(This debate took place in fall 2000 for the theatrical launch of SOUND AND FURY. Donna Sorkin now works as the Vice President for Consumer Affairs, Cochlear Corporation.)
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Debate Questions Menu:

1. Position on Cochlear Implants

2. Cochlear Implant Candidates

3. Advice on Cochlear Implants

4. Cochlear Implant Success Rate

5. Psychological Effects of Cochlear Implants

6. Deaf Culture

7. Cochlear Implants and Deaf Culture

8. Who Is Part of Deaf Culture?

9. Cochlear Implants and Sign Language

10. Cochlear Implants and Deaf Education



Nancy Bloch
Nancy Bloch,
Executive Director,
The National Association of the Deaf



The National Association of the Deaf is the oldest and largest organization safeguarding the accessibility and civil rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans. The NAD supports the right of parents to make fully informed decisions on behalf of their deaf children and stresses the importance of early visual language development.

Ms. Bloch, who has been deaf since birth, is fluent both in spoken and written English as well as American Sign Language.
Donna Sorkin
Donna Sorkin,
Fmr. Executive Director,
Alexander Graham Bell Association



The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is one of the world's largest advocacy organizations for pediatric hearing loss and oral/auditory training for the deaf. The organization advocates use of the cochlear implant for suitable candidates.

Ms. Sorkin, who received a cochlear implant in 1992, has advised hundreds of families about the medical device.


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