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November 28, 2003

'Deaf' have been using 'gadgets' for years

From: Denver Post, CO - Nov 28, 2003

letters 'Deaf' have been using 'gadgets' for years

Re: "Messaging gadgets catch on with deaf; Newfound freedom in communications," Nov. 24 business news story.

I read with amusement your article explaining how useful messaging gadgets are for the deaf. The article explained that they are important because "the deaf can't use regular phones or pay phones."

wrong.This is wrong. As I type this, my 2-year-old son, born deaf, is shouting "Run, Dora!" to the TV while watching "Dora the Explorer." He was 9 months with given a cochlear implant at 9 months and is currently age appropriate, expressively and receptively. He hears. He routinely speaks with his grandparents on the phone.

Unfortunately, only a small percentage of those who are eligible for a cochlear implant actually have one. Even many adults could benefit, but they either don't know or have been discouraged by the deaf culture. Advocates of deaf culture have spread misinformation about the cochlear implant, and they imply that deaf people do not have a condition that needs medical attention. They rely on sign language and think all deaf people should, limiting their conversation, educational development and job availability by socializing only with those who speak American Sign Language.

So, reading that the deaf are embracing another technology that gives them contact was humorous. The cochlear implant allows many deaf people access to the language of their peers and access to ordinary phones. Deaf people who don't know this should speak with their physicians and do some research. Or, just look at my son's website to listen to him talk



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