Gallaudet University Press

13:9 Monday, September 26, 2011

Reframing the Cochlear Implant Debate

Experts Share Varying Viewpoints on the Use of Implants

For many members of the Deaf community, the issue of cochlear implants has been fraught with trepidation, anger, frustration, and outright rejection of the concept that surgical insertion of an auditory device is required to restore a sense that is “missing.” It took decades of struggle before culturally Deaf adults who decided on cochlear implantation began to be viewed by opponents of the procedure no longer as automatic traitors, guilty of betraying their Deaf culture values but rather as individuals who wanted exposure to different sensory experiences, in this case auditory stimulation, while holding on to the use of their signed language. Cochlear Implants: Evolving Perspectives reframes this debate with topics ranging from the ethics of genetic engineering, experiences of implanted adult deaf signers, reflections of deaf mothers who have had their children implanted, and the effects of implants on deaf identity.

Editors Raylene Paludneviciene and Irene W. Leigh, both deaf, state that although neither are cochlear implant users “we have extensive experience with the topic.” They go on to explain, “We have been interested observers of the maelstrom surrounding the debate on cochlear implants, in particular pediatric cochlear implants. It is our hope that this book takes you, the reader, in a different direction from the directions that are most often expressed in treatises on cochlear implantation and provides you with a broader understanding of what may work for individuals with cochlear implants. We anticipate that you may come away with a different perspective on how the Deaf community is adjusting to the presence of cochlear implants in its midst. Reframing the meanings of cochlear implantation may also provide a means for moving into the future in ways that emphasize the value of both vision and audition in the development of any one deaf individual.”

Read chapter five, “My Child Can Have More Choices: Reflections of Deaf Mothers on Cochlear Implants for Their Children,” and order Cochlear Implants now. Use your exclusive subscriber discount and receive 20% off the regular price. For online orders, type “SEP2011” in the box labeled “use promo code” next to the checkout button, or order by mail.

“Ten years ago,” notes the reviewer in the summer issue of the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, “the first edition of [Psychotherapy with Deaf Clients from Diverse Groups] gently surprised the clinical community. It was the first single volume to present mental health perspectives of diverse subcomponents of the deaf community. As editor, Irene Leigh, through her exemplary work, has now raised the bar of excellence (which should be our clinical standard) even higher. In this revised and updated second edition, readers are no longer nudged but are startled into reconceptualizing, reorganizing, and, in some instances, learning for the first time about the subtle and not-so-subtle subcomponents of the deaf community. Buy this book, read it, and then read it again.” The newly revised edition of Psychotherapy with Deaf Clients from Diverse Groups delves further into deaf mental health by providing a new chapter that expands information on therapy for Latino deaf clients. In addition, three new chapters focus on other deaf populations — deaf college students, recipients of cochlear implants, and deaf elderly clients. It also includes new information on the treatment of deaf survivors of sexual abuse and deaf clients with chemical dependency and an outline of dialectical behavior therapy for deaf clients. Read chapter seventeen, “Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Deaf Clients: Cultural and Linguistic Modifications for Outpatient Mental Health Settings,” and order your copy here.

In a recent review, Reference and Research Book News had this to say about Ethical Considerations in Educating Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: “Editor [Kathee Mangan] Christensen presents a framework for ethical decision making, based on a situation ethics approach, for making decisions regarding the education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The essays collected here are organized in sections on parental decisions, educational decisions, and interpretation decisions. Some specific subjects examined include residential schools for deaf students, ethical considerations in language choices, ethical assessment approaches, and perceptions of the efficacy of sign language interpreters working in K-12 settings. The book concludes with a justification of the benefits of a ‘both/and’ approach to the education of deaf students and an outline of the editor’s model for ‘eventual bilingualism.’” Read more about this innovative study in Christensen’s introduction, and order Ethical Considerations in Educating Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

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