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how the implant works debate over the implant hearing aid history essay
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8. Who is part of deaf culture? 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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I think that whether or not a person is part of deaf culture depends on that person's perspective. If a child or adult identifies with deaf culture — whether or not they have a cochlear implant — then they could be considered part of deaf culture. It is the sense of identification rather than the mere fact of having the technology that matters. There are many individuals who are deaf and oral who do not have cochlear implants (such as the adult members of AG Bell) who most decidedly do not identify with deaf culture despite the fact that they are deaf and do not have cochlear implants.

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Nancy Bloch's Rebuttal:
Very well said. Ms. Sorkin and I are in agreement on an individual's sense of identification with various groups and cultures. Yes, indeed, those who do not know sign often do not identify themselves with deaf culture. It is interesting to note that many of the deaf members of AG Bell are quite fluent signers, even though these abilities were developed much later in their lives. Conversely, the NAD has members who do not even know sign, yet seek to take part in the NAD heritage of protecting the civil and advocacy rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing people.
 
 
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Nancy Bloch's Answer > >



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Nancy Bloch,
The National Association of the Deaf
Nancy Bloch
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If such individuals already consider themselves as being part of the deaf culture, even with an implant they will continue to perceive themselves in the same way. Those with and without implants who seek to interact largely with hearing persons are making that individual choice for themselves. The reality is that most seek out and interact with others like themselves when it comes to marriage, community involvement and socialization.

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Donna Sorkin's Rebuttal:
I agree that one's identification with deaf culture has to do with personal perspective, not the technology one uses to communicate.


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