This page is created by a Deaf blogger and is NOT intended to offend Deaf community, Deaf individuals, or anyone else. Any hateful or offensive comments made by individual readers is the sole responsibility of that person. With the exception of news sources (I do not own them), these blog articles are my own opinions and thoughts with which you may disagree. I do remove comments that only contain profanity and insults about me or this page (yeah, it's my blog). If your comment goes unpublished for no other reason, it may be mistakenly filtered as spam. Happy reading!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Charlie Rose: Cochlear Implant & Hearing

When I was changing channels on a Friday night, I just happened to stumble on Charlie Rose show that discussed cochlear implants & hearing-impaired people. He invited a doctor who received the Lasker Award for contributing to a newer technology of cochlear implant & other people including a 19-year-old man who is implanted to discuss this topic. 

To see a completed video of Charlie Rose, the "Hearing & Cochlear Implants", go to this link:

Personally, I have nothing against CI as well as the parents who want their deaf child to be implanted with cochlear. It's their child, so it's not for me to say what they should do or shouldn't do. The only mistake they would make is if they willingly follow doctor's order without fully researching it first or if they believe there's no assistance available for the deaf.

My understanding is that it would be easier for the brain of an implanted toddler to develop sound & speech than it would be for adult if they were implanted after adolescence. It still does not mean that someone with CI can hear the same sound quality as natural hearing. It may work for some, it may not work for others. They're still deaf with or without CI. Hearing aids may not work for people with severe hearing loss. That's what I've learned about CI.

Deaf community has a strong objection against children having CI surgery, & that's fine, too.

English Problems for Majority of Deaf adults

My main issue with one of their discussions on Charlie Rose show is about a hearing loss that could prevent you from reading & writing properly in English. It may be true but not completely. I really doubt that deafness has anything to do with a lack of reading & writing skills. I know a couple of deaf people who writes better & far more advanced English than most hearing ones that I have seen. Some of them do not wear CI or even hearing aids.

The average of reading level for deaf adults is 4th grade. Can they be blamed for not developing English properly as their second language? No, I think not. Why? Because our deaf educational system lacks resources & is full of lazy teachers. I can't speak for every deaf school or department, but I can only speak for mine. Growing up in school, teachers never really challenged deaf students academically. For example, most deaf 8th graders were taught 5th grade-level math even though they have been in school since they were three.

So, what were teachers teaching deaf students all those years? Why have they slowed them down? Deaf students were way behind their hearing peers on so many academic levels. It's embarrassing.

Sadly, I had to teach myself how to read & write in English on my own. I had to learn about punctuation, preposition, conjunction, where commas should be inserted, & so on. Honestly, I didn't even know any of those English rules until I started mainstreamed high school.

It's unfortunate because deaf students can do so much better than what teachers give them a credit for. They are missing out on most of what they are supposed to learn. That's why so many of junior and senior deaf students score so low on SAT & have difficulty getting into a college.

The point is that deafness has a little to do with reading/writing problems. Teachers just do not give deaf students proper English teaching lessons they need. If I had a deaf child, I would home-school or put her/him in mainstreamed school. That's what I would do to prepare them for their future opportunities.

I think talking about the errors of deaf education is more important than debating CI because Deaf children deserve the same level of education as hearing, and we should be focusing on it more. 

OK, that's it for today.

My questions to people with CI who may be reading this:

1. Do you feel like you live as a hearing person?
2. How well do you function in the hearing world?
3. Does your CI help you understand speech & sound?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

What's your discrimination experience in employment?

Almost every deaf or hard of hearing person encounters discrimination because of their hearing loss. On my blog, I have seen a lot of commenters that shared their experiences about hiring employers or their bosses who discriminated against their deafness.

Whether we admit it or not, employers & co-workers may not feel comfortable to work with their deaf counterparts for many reasons. Their perceptions of Deaf people are ignorant & stereotypical, & they are scared of deafness. Of course, not all hearing people are the same, but the ignorance still exists. Also, ADA pushes potential employers away from people with disabilities, especially deaf applicants for money reasons.

When you are in a minority community, it is very likely that you will be discriminated for whatever reason it is. We live in a hearing world where we would have to work a lot harder to match up to their so-called standards. Sometimes, even if we do, we still would be overlooked or ignored. That is discrimination.

I have my own shares of hearing loss discrimination in college, workplaces, job interviews, & job search. I am pretty sure you do, too.

What was your discrimination experience?