INTRODUCTION

This Website is intended as a central point for information and views on the cochlear-implant controversy and how it affects the lives of deaf people. While we strive to present a fair-minded, balanced view of this controversy, we wish to emphasize the Deaf-cultural view, since numerous other Websites already exist for the sole purpose of promoting implants, representing the medical/audiological/implant-industry view, and providing networking opportunities for cochlear-implant advocates and users. The Deaf Community’s view, we feel, is one that is not as well-represented in the media or understood by the general public. We seek to redress this imbalance.

This site, therefore, emphasizes the views of culturally-Deaf people, explaining why we feel the way we do about implants. Too much of what we’ve seen published about the controversy represents the views of pro-implant advocates, and some of it is thinly disguised or undisguised implant-industry propaganda. We want our views to be "heard." We want to increase the Deaf Community’s visibility, since it is a party to this controversy.

Let it be said right away that we have no objection whatever to deaf teenagers and adults who choose cochlear implants for themselves. They’re making their own decisions, understand the risks involved, and undergo the surgery and post-surgical process voluntarily. We do not summarily reject these people, nor do we consider them "hearing wannabees" or defectors trying to deny their deafness. We count some of them among our friends. Those who choose to reject the Deaf community, or who deny any affiliation with it, are doing so of their own free will. That’s fine with us.

We do have profound reservations about the current trend of implanting large numbers of deaf infants, toddlers, and young children. This site explains why we feel this way, and why we believe that implants are not appropriate for most deaf children. However, we don’t believe that any useful purpose is served by denouncing parents who have given their children implants, or making them feel guilty about their choices. We encourage them to establish positive connections with our community. We welcome input from deaf people, CI users, and parents of deaf children.


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