Our concerns over Cochlear Implants in the news
Cochlear implants (CIs) undoubtedly help many people but there is a huge misunderstanding around them. It is clearly an exciting and overwhelming time for Jo and we wish to make it clear that we are not criticizing anyone who wishes to use CIs. Far from it. Our concern over this story is that CI users will be viewed as “hearing” and any support they receive will be removed.
One of our group is a CI user. She still use interpreters. We asked her to talk about her experience to help explain the issue and our concerns. She said:
When my processor was first switched on it was a series of ‘beeps’ and took 6 months before it started to sound more ‘natural’. A similar comparison would be when you get a new hearing aid and have to get used to the sound change. Although I have now had my implant for 4 years I am still learning new things everyday, so it does take quite a bit of time. Of course it is not a perfect solution to becoming ‘hearing’!
Why do I still need Interpreters? There are several reasons! I still can’t recognise full sentences behind me or when I am looking down, people still need to tap me for attention, and I struggle with accents, both by lip-reading or listening. I cannot use a voice telephone or mobile as I do not recognise enough words or sounds to carry out a conversation, I probably never will. I can process information much faster using an interpreter than trying to lip-read and listen, and also I am less likely to make mistakes or misunderstand spoken information. I am still profoundly deaf when I take the processor off, and sometimes loud sounds are unbearable or I get headaches so have to take it off.
Help us to stop changes to access to work support!