The invention of cochlear implants and other technologies have given many deaf and hard-of-hearing adults and children the option to hear. What, then, becomes of sign language?
When the world gets too loud—because of fireworks, or just to take a quiet break on the weekends—8-year-old Sophie knows what to do.
"When it's really loud, I just take the magnet off," she says.
She's deaf and has had a cochlear implant that's helped her hear since she was a year old. But she knows by moving that magnet she can stop the device from bringing her sound.
More than 1 in 500 children in the United States is born deaf or hard of hearing, making it the most common congenital sensory problem in the country. Technological advances, like Sophie's cochlear implants, now give many children the ability to hear and communicate with spoken English from the time they are babies.
Sitting next to her on the couch in their living room, Sophie's mom Samantha Zawislak says getting her daughter a cochlear implant, which requires surgery, was a difficult decision.
For people with severe to profound hearing loss, cochlear implants can restore hearing and improve quality of life. Initially FDA-approved in 1985, only individuals with bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss with no open set speech recognition (in other words, some ability to understand speech without visual clues) were considered viable candidates for cochlear implants. The criteria have become less rigid over time, and more people are eligible including those with more profound residual hearing and pre-implant speech recognition scores. Occasionally, devices fail or medical complications create a need for revision surgery and reimplantation. The incidence of revision surgery is low, but outcomes are variable.
Some studies have suggested that advanced age may be associated with poor post-revision outcomes. Investigators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have completed a study that asks whether advanced age should be a contraindication for revision cochlear implantation.
Come Hear about HLAA Support for People with Hearing Loss
HLAA’s seeks to open the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, support and advocacy. It does so by working to assure that:
Hearing aids, cochlear implants and aural rehabilitation are affordable, accessible, and covered by Medicare, Affordable Care Act, and insurers;
Public and private venues, including all types of public transportation are communication accessible;
Television, Internet video programming, and movies make high quality captioning available;
Consumers have wide choices and access to captioned and hearing-aid-compatible (HAC), high-fidelity, landline phones and mobile devices;
Workplaces are communication accessible and welcoming to people with hearing loss.
Lise Hamlin, HLAA’s Director of Public Policy, will be open to talk about these and other HLAA activities and solicit your views about further ways that HLAA can be helpful. This will very much be a two-way dialogue.
Date and Time: Sunday, October 19, 2014, 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Place: DC Public Library at Tenleytown (large meeting room), 4450 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016 (less than a block from the Tenleytown Station on Metro’s Red Line)
Real-time captioning and a looping system will be available for all attendees.
American researchers have developed a prototype cochlear implant which would be entirely internal, with no visible hardware on the outside of the head.
The advance is a result of collaboration between MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratories and teams from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
Current cochlear implant technology requires an external transmitter, which is made up of a magnetic coil, cable, microphone and power source. These are available in a variety of colours and designs, but are always on the outside of the head, connected to the internal device via a magnet.
The new design has no need for an external microphone, as the device uses the naturally occurring ‘microphone’ of the inner ear; the ossicles. The ossicles are small bones inside the ear which vibrate when sound is present. The device would sense these vibrations and change them into electrical signals, which the cochlear implant can process as sound.
Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.
Meeting of Frederick Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America Featuring Presentation by Matthew J. Goupell, PhD on Cochlear Implants
Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 10 am Edenton Retirement Community – Manor House
The Frederick Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America will meet Saturday, March 2, 2013 at the Edenton Retirement Community, Manor House. The meeting will begin at 10 AM with a social time to follow. The program will be presented by Matthew J. Goupell, PhD of the Auditory Perception and Modeling Lab of the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland. Dr. Goupell is involved with the Cochlear Implant Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. The research uses a wide range of principles and disciplines to understand how cochlear implants work and how they might work better.
The Frederick Chapter of HLAA meets the first Saturday of the month at the Manor House, Edenton Retirement Community, 5800 Genesis Lane, Frederick MD. HLAA Chapters are support groups for the hard of hearing, their families and friends; they focus on awareness of the hard of hearing and advocate for those with hearing loss. All meetings have CART reported. EVERYONE is welcome to attend.
Hearing Loss Association of America
Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.