Many deaf people consider deafness to be part of their identity. The deaf community is a culture with its own language, art, and views. The cochlear implant is an implanted hearing device that allows some people who were deaf or had profound hearing loss to hear. How do deaf people feel about cochlear implants?

The use of a cochlear implant has been controversial among the deaf community from its first use in 1980.Many people in the deaf community believe that cochlear implants rob the deaf individual of the person’s identity as a deaf person. They do not believe that deafness is something that needs to be fixed. Rather, many deaf people are proud to be deaf.

People who are proponents of cochlear implants believe that cochlear implants allow the individual to become part of the mainstream society. For deaf children, cochlear implants can allow them to hear enough to develop speech and could allow the child to be included in the regular classroom. For hearing parents of deaf children, the cochlear implant allows them to communicate more easily with their child.

However, many deaf people feel that a child who receives cochlear implants is being robbed of their identity. Deaf people may feel insulted that deafness is viewed as something that needs to be fixed. The deaf community is likely to feel slighted at the actions of parents who get cochlear implants for their child.

The deaf culture tends to be rather exclusive. A person who has substantial hearing loss but is not deaf may have difficulty feeling accepted by the deaf community. With the negative opinions about the cochlear implant, deaf people with cochlear implants are not likely to feel accepted by the deaf community. The deaf community views cochlear implants as a threat to the child’s self-esteem. The child who received an implant is labeled as disabled. Inclusion in the deaf community as a deaf person fosters pride of being a deaf person.

A person who becomes deaf in adulthood is likely to have a different view of cochlear implants. The hearing person who becomes deaf has lived their life as a hearing person. A cochlear implant may be the way for them to return to the hearing world. Therefore, deaf people who had been hearing often have a positive view of the cochlear implant.