The case for oralism for the modern deaf

geralt / Pixabay

Starting out, I’m deaf myself, just mainstreamed, raised with oralism in mind even though I was denied cochlear implants by my mother at a young age.  Not sure why she denied me getting them exactly these days, though I suppose it was due to not being expected to really live all too long due to complications.  All that aside.

Oralism started originally a very long time ago before technology like cochlear implants, heck even before most of modern medicine.  In the 1860’s USA for example, cochlear implants weren’t a thing and those who are profoundly deaf at birth would have an exceptionally difficult time learning to speak and thus have stunted educational growth.  Times like this are often referred back to by modern day deaf activists that insist that oralism is abuse (it isn’t modern day).

The problem with these activists is that it’s not the 1860’s anymore.  The original cochlear implant was invented in 1957 and the technology has only improved over time.  Zoom over to modern day and the cochlear implant technology is sufficient enough that it would blow a deaf person’s mind, not only making speech that much better than ever in history for deaf people, but overall allows for better communication and integration into mainstream society and it’s vast number of varying cultures and subcultures.

Clker-Free-Vector-Images / Pixabay

So long as the auditory nerve is still viable and healthy, and you have a proper enough ear shape that doesn’t require additional surgeries to make a proper base for it, the cochlear implant is by and large the way you should be going in order to get your life kickstarted, especially if you’re a young child.

There are absolutely zero valid arguments against the cochlear implant these days and frankly it’s absurd that people are still leaving profoundly deaf children without these crucial devices that will set their life to be easier with more rich social interactions, greatly improved accessibility and the rich sounds of the hearing world.

So far, the only argument those in Deaf Culture have left revolve entirely around is “It’ll destroy our culture”.  The reason behind this is because they require additional newly born deaf people to come into their fold and be indoctrinated into their culture via deaf schools in order to continue to perpetuate it.  If deaf children are implanted with cochlear implants and raised through oralism, or even raised without the CI and mainstreamed with oralism like myself, they are unlikely to have the ideological slant on everything that Deaf Culture relies on, which is heavily socialistic and authoritarian.

This is why mainstreamed deafs, such as myself, that hold center left, libertarian principles are rejected, outcasted and alienated by and large by those in Deaf Culture.  We can’t get involved in it even so much as to get help learning to sign, because I support the use of hearing aids and cochlear implants as well as lip reading and speaking.

Oralism has opened up my world to allow me to go someplace to eat and be able to actually order my own food verbally, to speak to the server if and when I need to.  Oralism has allowed me to be able to hold conversations with practically anyone I could randomly bump into out in public without the need of an interpreter or to have them learn to sign before hand.  Nobody has to learn an additional language for me to be able to communicate with the majority of people in my country and state.

Granted, I don’t have a cochlear implant and phone calls are still generally impossible for me without assistance, either by having someone call for me and just verbally repeating what’s said on the phone, or using a service like InnoCaption in order to have someone listen in on the call and transcribe what’s being said to me.

I generally prefer to not have to use a service like InnoCaption, but I unfortunately need to in order to make important phone calls to make doctor appointments and other important calls.  With modern cochlear implants, not only would I not really need a caption service because I’d be able to just use bluetooth to hear what’s being said, I’d have a greater feeling of independence.

So what that the technology isn’t 100% perfect and the deaf with them won’t hear exactly like a hearing person will?  At the very least it accomplishes in allowing the deaf to hear and better comprehend speech without inaccurate lip reading.  They do also allow the deaf to better enjoy the sounds of music, not just the varying vibrations.

So as I said, there are no valid arguments against oralism modern day.

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