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Improvements In The Quality Of Life Of The Hearing Impaired: Modern Technology Impact

2305 words - 10 pages

Improvements in the Quality of Life of the Hearing Impaired: Modern Technologies Impact
Blair Drake
Selected Themes in Social Sciences
Dr. Hineman

Improvements in the Quality of Life of the Hearing Impaired: Modern Technologies Impact
The hearing impaired, including people who are deaf and are hard of hearing, have a wide variety of technology presented to them to improve their lifestyles. Researchers and manufacturers have improved their products and psychologists, who specialize in deaf studies, have improved techniques to expand the possibilities the hearing impaired have. While speech therapy and psychological therapy have had an impact, modern technology has had the largest impact of the lives of the hearing impaired. These advancements are very important in the expansion of deaf-hearing communication, the ability for teaching hearing impaired children alongside hearing children, and for the hearing impaired to be able to work with the hearing during business and healthcare (Hintetmair & Albertini, 2005; Power, Power, & Horstmanshof, 2007). Through the variety of new technology, the hearing impaired are making a larger impact on society.
Cochlear implants and hearing aids are the two assistive listening technology devices that can change the lives of many in the deaf and hard of hearing community. Short Message Service (SMS), teletypewriter (TTY), Relay Service, fax, and computers are other ways of open communication the deaf have easy access to. Even with skepticism, technology is rising to become a major item in the lives of the deaf.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, or NIDCD, (2013a) explains that cochlear implants are small, electronic devices that help to provide a sense of sound to someone who is profoundly deaf or hard-of-hearing. The device consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and an internal portion that is surgically placed under the skin. The implant has the following parts: a microphone that picks up environmental sounds; a speech processor that selects and arranges the sounds from the microphone; a transmitter and stimulator that receives signals from the speech processor and turns them into electric impulses from the stimulator and sends them to different regions of the auditory nerve. The organization states that this implant can not restore normal hearing, instead it can give the person a useful representation of sounds in the environment and help them to understand speech.
With all of these pieces the cochlear implant works very different from a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sound so they may be detected by damaged ears, while cochlear implants bypass the damages and directly stimulate the auditory nerve. The signals generated by the implant are sent to the auditory nerve, which then send the signals to the brain. The brain then recognizes the signals as sound.
According to the NIDCD (2013a) the cochlear implant can be helpful to many different...

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