The Profound Impact of Cochlear Implants on a Young Deaf Adult's Life & Deaf Identity
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This paper explores my autoethnography about the life experiences of young deaf adults with cochlear implants, and most importantly, researching how we describe and identify ourselves. The generation born in the years 1990 and onwards have been shifting and changing what it means to be “deaf”, with new technologies and access to speech and sound. Previously, the term “Deaf” was associated with the Deaf Culture as a linguistic minority. With access to technologies such as the cochlear implants and access to learn sound and speech with auditory verbal therapy, the Deaf culture is declining. However, as someone who has a cochlear implant, the idea of “deaf identity” has become more prevalent as I grow older and continue on my journey in life with a hearing loss- in a community with “hearing” people. My cochlear implant has placed me in the middle- not “deaf enough” for the Deaf culture, and not “hearing enough” for the mainstream, hearing society. The importance of deaf identity defines a place of belonging, and not feeling outcasted. Most importantly, I would like to raise awareness about the significant impact the cochlear implant has on my life, from being able to hear, speak, and integrate into the hearing community.