Deaf Culture Disappearing


The documentary Sound and Fury discusses the pros and cons of cochlear implants in young children and infants.

Most hearing people believe children born deaf should receive cochlear implants as soon as possible and then raised as hearing children.  That allows them to function in a hearing world.

It’s not so clear in the Deaf community, because they have their own language and unique culture.  Cochlear implants are keeping children born deaf from learning that language, the history of the Deaf community, and the cultural beliefs that go along with it.

I understand both sides of the debate and I feel torn by the issue.  I was born with inner-ear deformities that required numerous surgeries throughout my childhood and most of my adult life.  I now have a moderate hearing loss and function well with hearing aids.

As an adult, I studied American Sign Language, Deaf history, and Deaf culture.  I was fascinated by how the Deaf community interacts with each other and the importance they place on their language and culture.

Since I grew up in the hearing world, I will never truly be a part of the Deaf community.  I wish I had a chance to be a part of that community.  I long for the closeness and understanding felt among the members.

However, I am also glad to be a part of the hearing community.  I know I will have more opportunities in this world, as a hearing person.

I hope the hearing community doesn’t allow cochlear implants to destroy Deaf culture.  Maybe we can still teach children that are born deaf about their unique culture, even if they receive the cochlear implant as infants.




10 thoughts on “Deaf Culture Disappearing

  1. J L Hunt says:

    What an interesting post. Having a relative that was born deaf..I did learn some sign language in able to relate. It is indeed a fascinating language of its own. Perhaps individuals can still learn sign language as well, & have the best of both worlds 🙂


  2. Thank you for sharing and making us aware of this issue in a community that is so often overlooked or dismissed altogether. Your post was most informative and thought-provoking.

    Thanks also for the likes posted on Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe. Thanks for the encouragement.


  3. I have enjoyed reading your posts. I am deaf myself and believe the words of George Veditz: “As long as we have Deaf people on earth, we will have signs.” And I believe we will always have Deaf people because of the families who pass the deaf gene, as well as their rich language and culture from generation to generation 🙂

    I am with you. I am not against cochlear implants. What I don’t like is when deaf children aren’t given the opportunity to explore their deafness and ASL. Because after all, they are deaf when they take the implant off.

    Enjoyed your perspective 🙂


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