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Sound and Fury
Deaf Culture
Cochlear Implants
About the Film
Lesson Plans
Cochlear Implants
how the implant works debate over the implant hearing aid history essay
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10. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that children with cochlear implants can be mainstreamed into public schools at three or four times the rate of children without implants. As the number of deaf children with cochlear implants increases, what effect will this have on the deaf education system? spacer
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

Donna Sorkin,
Alexander Graham Bell Association
Nancy Bloch
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Public school systems are just learning to accommodate these children in mainstream settings. Some are doing well; some have a long way to go. However, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that public schools provide children with disabilities what they need to excel. AG Bell and its members are currently working with states and local school districts to improve educators' understanding of the needs of children with cochlear implants in public school settings. It is likely that few of these implanted children will be placed in state schools for the deaf, which have traditionally used ASL as the primary language.

Nancy Bloch's Rebuttal:
We at the NAD are doing likewise on the education front. Our focus is more holistic, taking into consideration the individualized needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing children, including full access to educational settings with appropriate support services. As I said earlier, mainstream educational placements are not a new phenomenon, and are at an all-time high even for deaf children without implants. ASL usage, contrary to my esteemed colleague's statement, is very much a part of the mainstream education setting. So, too, is English usage within the private or residential education setting. In a nutshell, cochlear implants do not in themselves guarantee success in mainstream settings.
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Nancy Bloch's Answer > >

Nancy Bloch,
The National Association of the Deaf
Donna Sorkin
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The NAD has long advocated the provision of educational services appropriate to the individualized needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing children — across the full continuum of educational placement options. Our concern is that these children in mainstream placements, including those with implants, frequently do not receive the benefit of direct communication and support services that are so critical to academic and extracurricular success. Mainstreaming is the current trend for implanted children, and often without assessment of specialized educational and support service needs. Such efforts merit closer scrutiny, especially to ensure that children both with and without implants do not fall through the cracks.

Donna Sorkin's Rebuttal:
I agree wholeheartedly that children with hearing loss are often denied their rights in the educational system. Indeed, this is all too often the case, regardless of the level of hearing loss or the technology utilized. Children who are oral and use their residual hearing will need assistive technology, acoustical improvements, periodic speech and audiological services, and more. I concur with Nancy that public school systems need to be made more aware of the needs of all children with hearing loss.

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