Hype-Mania (The final word on the cochlear implant hype)

big kevGeorge is on the Morning Show. He is a tradie and is selling ladders… “Call in the next hour” pleads George, “…and you will get, absolutely free, this amazing new work bench.” According to George his ladders are the safest in the world. Guaranteed, says George, to prevent workplace injuries, Do It Yourself Injuries and give you confidence to climb to the heights without fear. “Buy one get one free as well as this amazing work bench.” screams George, hands held up to the heavens as if he is your saviour. Now for some reason George got me thinking about the wonderful Professor Clark and Dr Bruce Shepherd, Australia’s Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee of Cochlear Implant salesmanship.
One can imagine the stately Clark and the slightly more robust and rotund Shepherd on the Morning Show. Beaming smiles, suit and tie, looking directly at the camera and holding in their right and left hands respectively, a cochlear implant. “Never not hear again,” cries Clark, “And stop being a burden to everybody,” screams Shepherd – “.. Have one implant and get the second ABSOLUTELY FREE.”, they sing in unison. Creepy indeed but that seems to be what has happened of late. Hype and the cochlear implant seem to be going hand in hand.
Hype seems to be following deafness around like a bad smell actually. Last year we had that revolting television advertisement from the Cora Barclay Centre. There was a young lad struggling gamely to sign. Telling all who were watching that this ungainly form of communication that is sign language was how deaf kids of yesteryear used to communicate and then suddenly breaking into a sweet, slightly lispy but engaging voice and telling all and sundry that, “…THERE IS A BETTER WAY.” And in doing so telling legions of watchers that sign language is primitive and speech is the only way forward. One only needed Yazoo in the background singing, “… THE ONLY WAY IS UP BAAAAAAABY FOR YOU AND ME NOW.” This advertisement was simply the most disgusting and misleading piece of television advertising on deafness I have ever seen.
I am beginning to wonder if Clark and Shepherd are, in fact, Cochlear’s number one and two shareholders. (For the record Professor Clark is apparently on record as having no shares in Cochlear.) In The Age newspaper recently Clark said the implant was needed by, “…deaf children to compete with their hearing peers on a normal footing. In Sweden, 95 per cent of profoundly deaf children have a cochlear implant.” Not to be outdone in the field of misleading the naive Dr Shepherd has been saying similar things, this time at the launch of the New Born Hearing Screening initiative and in the presence of Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. Said Shepherd of the implant; “It means that these children, rather than becoming drawdowns on the community and welfare, will become productive members of the community and go on to lead productive lives and happy lives, able to communicate with the entire community and not just with the few who might be able to sign.”
It’s clear isn’t it! Being deaf is a drag and a burden and the way to fix it and be equal with everyone is to have a cochlear implant. Meanwhile the cash registers of cochlear are going KA-CHING and no doubt the dividends for its shareholders increased with it. It is likely donations to Shepherd Centre for hearing impaired children improved dramatically as well.
Sadly hype is not the sole domain of Messrs Clark and Shepherd. Deaf Australia unfortunately added their own kind of hype to the debate. In the same article that Professor Clark uttered his immortal line Deaf Australia claimed that the cochlear implant; ” ….implies that deaf people are ill or incomplete individuals, are lonely and unhappy, cannot communicate effectively with others and are all desperately searching for a cure for their condition.” I am sure the many hundreds of deaf people who have a cochlear implant and are part of the Deaf community were puzzled and perhaps a bit offended by the statement. The Deaf Australia comment, sadly, like Clark and Shepherds’, was just misleading and divisive hype.
In the midst of all this hype there is, thankfully, some sanity. Tricia Kemp is the mother of a child with a cochlear implant. She is also the coordinator of a cochlear implant support group. She, one among many who should know better, states a simple fact; “Cochlear implantation is not a miracle that immediately gives access to mainstream education for all children. Undoubtedly it provides this for some but even within this group the amount of support necessary will depend on the individual child. Other children will need more support and will be better suited to placement in a Hearing-Impaired Unit (’Unit’) where more specialist help is available and others will need placement in a special school.”
She further goes on to say, and I hope Professor Clark and Dr Shepherd with their tendency to spew hype read this; “Amongst the population of deaf children, with or without cochlear implants, some will need sign support, others are oral (to varying degrees), some will need very little support, others will need a great deal; and some will have additional difficulties”.
It is people like Tricia who should be promoting the cochlear implant. Not people like Clark and Shepherd who, arguably, have a vested interest in every public statement that they make. It is a simple but true fact that the cochlear implant benefits many, some more than others. Some will chose to learn to sign some will not. But people with a cochlear implants are still DEAF … the cochlear implant does not change this! But mostly it is poppycock that the cochlear implant somehow makes people who are deaf equal to their hearing peers… Clark and Shepherd HEAR this… We already are equal and we do not need ignorant professionals like yourselves to tell us otherwise.

*Further reading:
http://www.saltbar.co.uk/2009/08/eternal-sunshine-of-the-cochlear-mind/

http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=9235&page=1

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28 thoughts on “Hype-Mania (The final word on the cochlear implant hype)

    • I dare say the farters spew greater intelligence about cochlear implants than the two in question do.

  1. Regardless of your personal viewpoints, and hurling abuse, the CI battle is LOST, how or why is both now academic and immaterial, the question is, will the CI opponents now accept defeat gracefully and move on ? either they embrace the CI or get sidelined for good….. It is not the implantees fault the implantations have been done because of a total failure by deaf culture to promote deafness as a positive aspect.

    It is wrong, it is discriminatory, and idiots will promote above deaf every time, but it is an undeniable fact of life where it counts, that nobody is listening to deaf opponents. Cutting losses and moving on seems to be the best way forward. We’re a minority, get used to it ! MORE so now… It does seem the more deaf shout, the less people tend to listen…. Being seen tobe positive and ‘out there’ is the sure way to prove the negatives wrong.

    Like so ?

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/08/07/deaf-team-beats-bbc-eggheads-to-win-23-000-115875-21578177/

  2. But you’re still saying “some will need sign support” – reinforcing the perception that sign langugage is a “need” rather than a choice of means of communication.

    I don’t see Auslan as a “necessary” means of communication – this implies that due to being deaf the child needs other tools at his/her disposal such as Auslan.

    Better to say “Parents of deaf children have several options at their disposal, ranging from Auslan-only education, through to SSE and ending in implanting their child, and they are encouraged to consider the pros and cons of each option.”

  3. Paul absolutely agree with you on that point … I didn’t say it though … But your pont is important in that it is a real choice not just something that is a suplement.

    As for MM .. Well all I can say is … Its not about having an implant or not … the implant benefits many … but giving a realistic picture of what the implant can do.

    There are no winners and losers just losers. MM your negativity and bitterness is misplaced in this incidence.

  4. Don Quixote syndrome springs to mind. You question an ‘unrealistic picture of ‘hearing effectiveness’ via CI’s, this suggests parents and those that take up the CI are too thick or stupid to work things out, not everyone reads some consultant rambling on about “You will get your hearing back, or you will hear when you have a CI..” NOBODY believes that, most KNOW very limited access to ‘hearing’ is possible, there IS no device to replicate the hearing mechanism, but as we all know in the deaf world and outside, the decibel is King in the land of the deaf.

    The cultural deaf live by this -db defintion, and use it as a criteria too. It is why they oppose CI’s, it gives that decibel advantage. The brain can utilise most obscure sounds to advantage, that is the basis of the CI, the brain has to process the sounds, it isn’t primarily neccessary you hear EVERY word, no more than it is vital you sign or lip-read every word.

    I suggest even IF a CI DID duplicate the ear exactly some would still oppose… to those people, nothing you say is positive at all. I think energy could be better expended not tilting at windmills…. Of course there are winners, 1,000s of them…

  5. Yes MM there are winners, millions actually. But there are needless losers as well for whom the implant has less benefit and who are impacted socially and academically. This can ve prevented.

    I do agree many see through the hyperbole but equally many dont. Parents with no experience of deafness tend to listen to the experts often to severe consequences.

    The greater issue is the negative statements made by the two men in question that imply that deafness is a lesser state of being. The choice is to accept this negativity or challenge it … I chose the latter.

  6. Challenging is fine, but the bottom line was not negativity at deaf, but CI’s again wasn’t it ? What is worse ? a few idiots who say deaf are lesser life forms ? or, that many millions WITH hearing loss are stating or belieiving deafness is the worst disability there is and want rid ? Both views could be seen as denigrating deaf people, Without deafness there are no ‘Deaf’ people, no deaf culture, no sign maybe either, but with OTHER deaf and HI believing it too… perhaps you target the least and easiest, and not most dangerous idealogical sector ? If the deaf want to hear, that’s it isn’t it ? it reinforces the ‘negativity’ hearing give out.

  7. There were many bottomines MM …. Negativity to the deaf, misleading those lookiong for hope that may not be there being two of them. CI themselves are fine but let the decision be made with good open information and not the Hype that is these two ignorant ment keep putting out in the media.

  8. Without hope of an eventual deaf cure for deafness, many would find it difficult to go on. The logical illogic of it, is hope, no matter how flimsily based, is still hope. Many do not understand this, I think you have to go to the absolute pits to understand how it will make sense to others, in part the born deaf are probably envied, they have no issues of loss to face. Things are black and white for them. It isn’t what people say, it is what others believe. If CI’s were a free option from state health services, that would be better ? In the UK most CI’s already are… thus I suppose we don’t suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous hype from commercial salespeople hyping them up, as they do in Australia or America…and using total negativity aimed at deaf people to do it. I think it appears they attack DEAFNESS as negative mostly, and I empathise with that, but not deaf people, it is the sensitivities of the deaf who directly link deafness with their ID, so any sort of undermining of that concept is attacking them, this is the area they and ‘deaf’ differ. There are no two ways about it, deafness equals culture and whatever goes with it, it IS a culture based on a sensory derivation. Unique one would agree, but a culture based on a medical fact, is going to be subject to researches and alleviations at various points, and as progress is made, this progress is a bottom line for the majority with loss, so if you adhere strictly to the cultural view, this means deafness has to STAY an option, then you are in opposition to these people by default, becuase there appears no twain to meet, no unity of purpose and endless in-fighting.. Teh Fernadez book new out suggests if culture doesn’t bend with the wind, it will break, and choice is not really an option except on an individual level. This means even a concerted opposition to CI’s by EVERY single ‘Deaf’ person has no chance of success… OK so Oz has two clowns, the world is full of them…

  9. Clowns is kind of insulting to clowns in this case. But you seem to continuosly miss the fact that there is no opposition to the implant, only the misleading hypessociated with it which can do enormous damage. To remain silent is to accept the damage that the misleading info can and does do. Culture in this instance has no bearing …. fairness and dignity do.

  10. “The CI battle has been lost” – the Deaf community, I believe, has accepted that the CI is here to stay. We have moved on. It is merely a piece of equipment. The issue the Deaf community may have with the CI is the propaganda that comes with it. Propoganda that says – you will hear everything! You will be like a normal member of society again! This is a miracle cure!

    The CI can be and is a useful tool for some people. I have no objections to it. I only object to the misleading statements and false hope offered. THE LIE is the only objection we have.

    I currently have four students with CI. Two had a double implant recently after many years with just the one. They are happy with it and it has possibly improved their speech and listening to some degree but it has not really helped their general learning. They still miss information at school. Their general knowledge is poor. Their understanding of language and words is still poor. The CI promises to lift such deaf people out of this educational and learning rut ( hear everything and never feel out of place) and yet fails to deliver. These students are still deaf at the end of the day, and their CI is NOT the absolute answer as promised. It can be an accessory to their learning but it is not the final absolute answer. This is the lie being promoted.

    Another student had a CI from a very young age. She received no benefit from it at all. She was unable to transfer sounds heard to meaningful language. She very quickly decided in her latter years of primary school to not bother with the CI. We all know it doesn’t work for everyone. This is why THE MISLEADING LIE should not be promoted.

    My last student had a CI recently. It has helped make some gains in developing language and listening. But yet, this student chooses to access information in Auslan. It is quicker, more reliable and she transfers this knowledge to auditory / verbal skills. She knows she cannot understand speech completely. This is a long, ongoing training process. For now, her mother is aware of THE LIE promoteed, and made an informed choice to ensure that just because her daughter has a CI, she does not lose access to Auslan and text to support her developing skills in listening and using the CI.

    All of the above students are happy, functioning members of society. But they are not equal. I see them hovering on the outskirts, not entirely sure of what’s happening, what is being said. I see them check out any textual or signed clues to assist them. Again, THE LIE is being exposed.

    By all means, use a CI if its the choice made. Just ensure it is an accessory to assist. Very few people will be able to master it completely and rely totally and successfully on it alone. Those who do, kudos to them. The rest, well… it is nothing more than a powerful hearing aid but it still renders them with a hearing loss so they still do miss some information. See and promote it for what it is – but do not force THE LIE onto people offering false hope. Offer some hope, but make it legitimate and realistic and offer other options to make them access the world even better. Auslan, text, speech etc all have a part to play and can be used together.

  11. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-tc-nw-deaf-children-0808-080aug09,0,558808.story care to comment ?

    No opposition to the implant ? no opposition to those with them ? I read both pretty regularly on deaf.read CI’s seem synonymous with deaf/cultural abuse… One would assume ‘Deaf’ would put the record straight and inform neutraly the pros and cons, but all we saw, was outright oppoosition, spin, and in-fighting, us versus them.

    The fact is parents do not read deaf blogs or care what the deaf think, that is because the message is not clear nor unbiased. Mainstream/society being what it is, there is still a lot of ‘blind faith’ in Dr’s and such, even deaf have this. The UK doesn’t really have an ‘private’ CI aspect to worry about, but an NHS, perhaps if we did things might be different. Many I supsect are thinking deaf are opposing ‘choices’ of other people, telling parents how to treat their children, because they want deaf children to grow up deaf and offered no ‘cure’ or ‘alleviations’, it’s a strong pro for CI’s and a losing argument. Who do these people think they are ? etc….

    You may not oppose, it is the overall image that counts. If someone is saying deaf are worthless people, then surely there is some law in Australia you can use to shut these people up ?

  12. MM .. You would be surprised how many parents actually read The Rebuttal but I do take your point. If you re-read the article I quoted and critisised Deaf Australia for the anti CI hype they put forth. So in that you and I are on the same page .. It doesnt help to put out equally misleading and biased information and that was my reason for highlighting what Deaf Australia had to say.

    There is a law for false advertising but whose got the money to try that one in court.

  13. So human rights laws count for nothing in Australia ? same here ! Deaf cannot enlist media support much that is the problem and our own ‘medias’ such as blogs/message boards, are just platforms, or ‘closed shops’ seperated by decibel/language and lifestyles… which are used to slag each other off with no real unity of purpose, and too busy to attack the negativity that goes on everywhere else.

    It is a bit pathetic we can all discuss others doing us down, but then offer no direct response TO those having a free run in other medias writing us all off. I doubt any advance CAN be made because we simply cannot universally agree on anything without a label being thrust in our faces which immediately divide us all again.

    In the UK we desperately need LEADERS to follow, I suspect it is the same the world over, deaf have got fat on the work of others and think its all over apart from a few shouts. The net does not seem to be a force to reckon with either. I take issues now TO source, if it is a bad charity pimping off the deaf then I go at them, their CEOs’, their fund raisers, whatever it takes.

    In Europe they picketed CI centres for implants, while I don’t agree with that aspect, it did at least show some deaf are willing to get their ass off the keyboards and do something tangible. In the UK the deaf feel ‘let’s do a petition!’ in the sheer desperate hope it can raise the issues they want raising, yet they KNOW NO government minister is going to read it or act on it, they know this still they persist ! Not a single petition raised has every got through…

    Deaf in the UK number 50/60/90K (Whatever), the government rejected a petition by 2 MILLION, so what hope have the deaf got of any success that way ? Personally I think we have to march on the streets again. I even went on my own from Wales to London to raise some points, there were lots of ridicule aimed at me, I felt I bluddy tried at least, while they could only whine, what is the point ? Seems they cannot be shamed in to action either.

    Not ONE deaf person offered to join me, not one, even the fabled ‘deaf activists’ rather than be seen with MM stayed at home… seems us old farts are the only ones that can still see discrimination exists…. Deaf are lemmings…. so busy arguing they won’t see the cliff until too late, or are hoping there is something soft they can hit at the bottom of the cliff…

    There is lots of talk, but that is all it is… perhaps telling deaf that, meant they wouldn’t back me, who knows, but it had to be said because it was the truth.

  14. MM- I wouldn’t be too disheartened though it is easy to feel that way. I don’t think activism is dead,it is just moving slowly because nobody is just an “activist”. We all have our “normal” lives to lead as well as our deaf ones and it is hard to balance having both a good rewarding life, but somehow also needing to deal with all the add on issues that we seem to have.
    Re your point about the media, I agree with you that Deaf/deaf viewpoints aren’t being heard enough and that is why it is galling to see people pretty much have the stage to themselves to promote things without alternative viewpoints also being expressed. There are sensible viewpoints being expressed here on The Rebuttal but they are playing to a home crowd. If Deaf people want change to occur they need to start expressing these same views but in mainstream media forums. It might seem daunting but I reckon it doesn’t matter if you argue and lose, it only matters if you stop arguing for things you see as right. Also the Deaf might not have had much luck in the UK but there is good news too – eg NZ Sign Language is now the third official language of NZ. There’s only 3.5 million in the entire country there, excluding sheep, so even less Deaf than here – but it didn’t stop Deaf people getting what they needed 😉

  15. What I am finding is vai expressing concerns (!) in mainstream medias (Whcih I do also), I find views being blocked and not printed, because nobody wants their site to be seen as a platform for opoosition to others. So you can find yourself not being able to launch campaigns our concers online where it counts.

    Of course people want o get laid, drunk and have a life too, I’m not that different lol…… The BBC e.g. has zeroed nearly 60% of disability and points of view message boards because nobody was very praising of the BBC ! An 3rd age charitable set of bloggers (Pros who run charities contribute), said they won’t allow me to comment on their blogs,because I make “Unsubstanutated allegations..” The ‘allegations’ they referred to was this:

    “Sir, I feel the RNID misleads the British general public, when it claims to represent the view and interests of 9 million deaf and HI in the UK, they have done this via nil consultations, and indeed have never held any sort of a vote, and has less than 6% membership of people with real hearing loss, (115 out of 35,000), since there is no requirement the memerbhip has to be deaf or even have hearing loss..

    My attendance at its AGM showed less than 68 people attended, near all were (A) Hearing or (B) Audiologists and (C) Almost exclusively from London alone ….
    Currently may I refer you to (Another blog BY The RNID on the same site), that stated “Charities should be politically represented in Parliament, but wanted that representation contrary to British democracy, in that it wanted to vote itself in, because “there is no competition to us, as we are the leading charity in the UK..” so what ?

    There was more but ! what allegations ? This was a 3rd party site that hired each other, an old boys networking site, when cushy jobs are going in the charity sector, I took a deaf view direct to the people that acted as agents for hiring staff to deaf charities…. Not one contributor was even Hard of Hearing. We provide services, you take, end of…. To use the RNID CEO’s own words “You know what to do if you don’t like it…” I doubt australians and New Zealander’s are fighting a 50m a year corporation with 6 full time professional spin merchants, to counter deaf concerns either…

    As a matter of interest I have two books on Auslan and NZ (Maori) sign, handy having 3 brothers out that way lol, one is in Auckland the others wandering around Melbourne somewhere… If I get stuck in a volcanic crater somewhere in New zealand and a passing NZ signer comes past, it’ll come in handy…

  16. The CI debate’s reared it sugly head again after several years of dormancy!

    I echo Marnie’s comments re. the deaf community starting to accept CI adults as a given. They are not going to go away and implanted people -children and adults – will always be deaf. They will always equire support throuht their lives and when the implant is taken off they go back to being profoundly deaf.

    All we members of the Deaf community can do is to embrace them and ensure that they are given the same opportunities as non-implanted deaf people.

    Also we should also be lobbying the professionals to ensure that the correct message is conveyed to parents of newly identified deaf children, that the CI is only one choice out of several and there are pros and cons to concider.

    All that said I still think the CI is still at the experimental stage and I say “experimental” because the “success rate” is so variable as Marnie points out. If the device truly was successful then surely there would be no variations in “successes”?

    BUT a caveat. The CI is the least of our worries. Scientists have already enjoyed some success with restoring blindness and reversing some nerve damage for those with spinal cord injuries. Successful repairs to auditory nerves are in the near future I am sure, and this day will be here sooner than we expect. And geneticists have made some progress in modifying genes in unborn or newly born babies, including the genes for deafness.

    When that day arrives, what then? Where do we as deaf people stand? Should we fight for our Deaf community, or should we fight for the rights of children who were going-to-be-deaf-but-are-not?

  17. (When that day arrives, what then? Where do we as deaf people stand? Should we fight for our Deaf community, or should we fight for the rights of children who were going-to-be-deaf-but-are-not?}

    We should let parents do what they feel is best for their children. The deaf community (wherever or whowever that is!), accepts NO Legal onus or responsibility even to other deaf people, regarding care, upbringing or support, they are not ‘Their brother’s keepers’ so in law and every other way, they have no rights to object.

    Does a ‘hearing society’ have an onus to preserve a deaf culture…? I think mostly they have declared war on deafness, which is the whole basis of it. It won’t affect US, it won’t affect the next generation of hearing children who ‘might’ have been born deaf either, hearing will be all they know, they will have NO affiliations to deaf culture, so will feel no deprivations either. They could still too have been born deaf and then taken a CI it is the way now…

  18. We have to accept that the day isn’t far off where the live and vibrant Deaf community that we know will be no more.

    Gene therapy will see to that. Stem cells will restore or provide hearing for the first time. 10 years, 20 years or 50 it will happen.

    All we can do is preserve what we have. Film it store it or record it so that the people of tomorrow will at least know the beauty of what once existed.

  19. I think personally you are OK for another 50 years, lots of ‘genetic’ talk, no claims or any real proof or research has removed deafness yet ! all it does so far is offer partial ID of SOME deaf genes. The issue is not about gene eradications, but, what to do when they are ID’d ? the deaf know the options then tends to be abort or not, proceed with the gestation or not ?

    Unfortunately and apart from deaf parents, hearing do not share the view deafness IS worth maintaining or preserving, and still class deafness as a huge handicap/disablement, and disadvantage, they do not even see their own participation in that. I am pessimistic the deaf community will ever convince hearing differently, and there is simply not enough deaf people in the world to propogate a deaf culture on their own. The decisions will be made by majority of parents, 9 out of 10 who are hearing.

  20. Interesting post Gazza and I’ve read most of the comments with interest.

    You mentioned an article published in the age quoting Professor Clark. Since you didn’t provide an online link I endeavoured to find out for myself what the context of the quote and the quote in it’s entirety.

    I assume you are referring to this article .

    The age article does a good job of trying to publish a balanced story but it doesn’t provide a context to what Professor Clarke is quoted saying. On it’s own it is damaging enough and quite honestly the article could viewed as a counter-propaganda piece. My interpretation of the article is it’s very sympathetic towards using Auslan.

    Marc Curtis, manager of VicDeaf Auslan and Interpreting Services in East Melbourne was quoted (on the implant) “It’s a really politically charged, difficult, difficult issue to discuss”.

    Difficult issue to discuss? I agree as people tend to become emotional and passionate in voicing their opinions of the implant.

    Various commentators have correctly (in my view) pointed out it is nothing more than a powerful hearing aid. In fact the surgeon who did my first implant told me this when I went to visit his office for a consultation years ago. I can honestly say if you make the decision to get the implant be prepared to make the most of it and yes it does involve a lot of work.

    Few people realise the “rehabilitation” which comes after acquiring the implant which clearly explains the wide variations in it’s “success”. It is completely dependant on the individual’s personal history of deafness, personality, amount of support they receive from family, friends etc, intelligence, mental resilience and so on.

    I know for a fact the audiologists who work with implant recipients do their best in providing honest, factual & realistic information about the implant’s success. Potential candidates are required to consult as many implant recipients with their experiences and are always encouraged to make up their own minds about going ahead with the it.

    I realise you are only criticising Clarke & Shepherd for publicising misleading information about the CI this is true, but remember once someone decides to kick-start the process of acquiring an implant they will meet people who will give them a much much more realistic picture of what the implant can/cannot do.

    • Liam your response is living proof that you and people like you are the ones that should promote the CI. Just pragmatic and realistic information.

      I take your point about the professionals offering realistic advice once u go thru the assessment process. Unfortunately the statements of Clark and Shepherd do not just give people false hope, they also belittle Deaf and other people who have disadvantages and disabilities. The statements imply that to be equal one must hear and meet the ideals of the majority. This is the most offensive part of what these two bigots had to say.

      Thank you form your response. The purpose of my article was to try and ilicit such realsitic responses as your own. In this sense I think I succeeded. One must also realise that Clarke and Shepherd are not the only ones that use hype. The example provided of the statement put forth by Deaf Australia is another example of hype. All one asks is for accurate and realistic portrayals. Both sides need to get their act together.

  21. I agree with Gary’s that a lot of bullshit is passed between both sides of the argument.

    I was talking to Liam about this very issue, last weekend. Talking to him, I came to better understanding of the implant, than I would have ever gotten from the usual media sources.

    That is the problem. Vested interests.

    Vested interests need to pump up their positions without due regard to reality or how it affects people.

    When Liam told me of a young deafie, who had an implant, that failed [didn’t work for him], and a bit of his background, I was filled with dismay. Is this person to be consigned to the scrap heap?

    There is nothing unusual about the hype surrounding the implant. Similar hype was pumped out about the hearing aids. Even I had UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS about what they can really do, and was shattered to realise that I didn’t have “normal hearing” after all.

    What people need to UNDERSTAND, is that deafies are real live, human beings, not blank canvases upon which they impress their bullshit!

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