Journal Article

Growing Up With a Cochlear Implant: Education, Vocation, and Affiliation

Linda J. Spencer, J. Bruce Tomblin and Bruce J. Gantz

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 17, issue 4, pages 483-498
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online September 2012 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/ens024
Growing Up With a Cochlear Implant: Education, Vocation, and Affiliation

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The long-term educational/vocational, affiliation, and quality-of-life outcomes of the first and second cohorts of children with bilateral, profound hearing loss who received cochlear implants under a large National Institutes of Health–funded study was investigated in 41 of 61 eligible participants. Educational and vocational outcomes were collected from user survey data. Affiliation and quality-of-life data were collected from the Satisfaction-with-Life scale and the Deaf Identity Scale. Qualitative results indicated that compared with their hearing, adult-age peers, this group obtained high educational achievement, and they reported a very high satisfaction of life. With respect to forming an identity in these first 2 cohorts of cochlear implant users, we found that most of the individuals endorsed a dual identity, which indicates they feel just as comfortable with Deaf individuals as they do with hearing individuals. Quantitative results revealed a significant relationship between ability to hear and ability to speak, in addition to consistency of device use. Additional relationships were found between mother’s and the individual’s educational statuses, hearing scores, and communication system used. Younger individuals scored higher on satisfaction-with-life measures, and they also tended to endorse a dual identity more often. Taken together, these findings diminish concerns that profoundly deaf individuals growing up with cochlear implants will become culturally bereft and unable to function in the hearing world.

Journal Article.  9407 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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