Born deaf, John Cradden grew up as a 'hearing' person - mainstream schools, no sign language, no deaf friends. In his late thirties he went almost completely deaf and chose to get a cochlear implant. In this honest account, he describes the long but fascinating process of getting one and its success. But, in a curious twist, he also writes about how he ended up feeling more 'Deaf' than hearing. More
Born deaf, John Cradden grew up as a 'hearing' person with the help of powerful hearing aids - attending fully mainstream schools, learning no sign language, and having no friends who were also deaf. In his late thirties he went almost completely deaf and decided to get a cochlear implant. The whole process of getting one proved long but fascinating and the implant worked successfully. But some five years later, rather than feeling more like a hearing person once again, he began to feel more 'Deaf.' How did that happen? In this honest account, he describes what it felt like to go almost completely deaf, the long assessment process for a cochlear implant operation, the operation itself, the 'switch-on' and the long, tortuous process of re-learning to hear through the implant. He also looks at the technology behind cochlear implants, and questions how the world perceives them. But having spent many years feeling like an 'inbetweener' - neither deaf nor hearing - he explains how he chose to improve his Irish Sign Language and get more involved in the Irish Deaf community.
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