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Cochlear implant allows local man to hear things most of us take for granted

By soome2000     Jan 5, 2007 in Health
Fernando Jour received a bionic ear in mid-October at Sunnybrook Hopital in Toronto. There is controversy surrounding the implant since it was first performed in Sydny Australia in 1978.
Jour qualified for one of seventy implants performed at the Sunnybrook Hospital every year. After the surgery he was amazed at all of the everyday things he wasn't hearing. He is very happy with the implant, and plans to help other people that can't hear.
I am so pleased that Mr. Jour can hear the birds sing, the rain fall and was able to dance with his wife on New Year. It is heart warming to know that so many others will also be able to hear thanks to this procedure.
The kicker in this article is that there is controversy over the procedure:
Cochlear implants have been the source of some controversy within the deaf community since the first procedure was performed on a Sydney man in 1978. Advocates argue the hearing impaired already have a language - American Sign Language - and that the growing trend of implanting deaf children threatens ASL. For example, in Australia, Denmark and Norway, up to 90 per cent of deaf children have cochlear implants.
The threat to American Sign Language should be hailed for the sake of all of the people who can now hear.
"Jour took ASL courses several years ago, but lost the ability due to lack of use. "If you're not involved in the deaf community and don't use sign, what good is it?" said Jour, who has been told he's just the fourth Saultite to receive a cochlear implant."
ASL is also being used to communicate with autistic people and those with other disabilities, how could this be a threat? ...or maybe it has to do with $$$, funding is given to hearing organizations to learn, teach, raise awareness, advertise, build web sites....and if it dies out all those jobs created may be threatened.
More about Cochlear, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada, Hearing