Friday, February 29, 2008

I saw a fascinating article about the improvements in cochlear implant technology that are allowing deaf cochlear implant users to discern music for the first time.

Now, cochlear implants are a volatile topic at best in the culturally Deaf (note the capital D) community. So can music be, if the implication is that the dominant (hearing) culture is treating the Deaf community like its members are somehow broken, inferior, etc. So I will tread lightly on both topics, other than to say that I support every competent adult who makes the decision to do what's right for them personally: if they want a cochlear implant, I say fine, go and have the surgery. If they dont want one, then I say fine, nobody should have any kind of medical procedure they neither want nor need, and that goes double for a treatment as invasive as major surgery.

But once a person decides to get a cochlear implant, I can't help but hope that the best possible technology is available to them. That's why I'm ecstatic that Cis are improving to the point where the users are gaining the ability to discern between musical tones. It's not just for the sake of the music, but for the increased precision in the capability of the CI devices themselves.

I hope that the new, improved technology becomes the standard ASAP, if it isn't the norm already. Heck, if someone is going to take a step as dramatic as having cochlear implant surgery, they should get the most possible "bang for their buck" out of the device. Here's to ever-more precise discernment between different tones.

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