Thursday, 7 November 2013

Deaf Identity

I'm thinking about identity at the moment. Some of my cochlear friends see themselves as hearing, I see myself as deaf, but I'm not part of the Deaf community.

Some friends who were born hearing and have suddenly lost it, and now have a cochlear implant, see themselves as hearing depite the fact that they are technically deaf. I've always been singled-sided deaf so that deaf identity has always been there in a small way. Having lost my hearing in the other ear just made that deaf identity stronger.

Having a cochlear implant doesn't make me hearing. It's a tool that I use to hear I agree, but I can't hear without it. The same as a blind person isn't suddenly seeing when they put glasses on, they are still blind, they just use an assistive tool.

The following article is a beautifully written account of a deaf woman's decision to have a cochlear implant and shows the importance of identity, either way. Deaf identity crisis