A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. The cochlear implant is often referred to as a bionic ear. According to Wikipedia, as of April 2009, approximately 188,000 people worldwide had received cochlear implants; in the United States, about 30,000 adults and over 30,000 children are recipients.
There has been an ongoing debate in the deaf community over the use of this procedure. For some deaf individuals cochlear implants are an affront to their culture, which as they view it, is a minority threatened by the hearing majority
What’s not up for debate is the look of joy on both the baby and the mother in the video above. The 8 month old baby was born deaf and you can watch the moment as his cochlear implant is activated and he hears sound for the first time, and his mother’s voice.
Footnote: There are many great organizations that help people with hearing loss. One of the most amazing is the not-for-profit Center for Hearing and Communication (previously The League For the Hard of Hearing). They make services, guidance and much more available to individuals with hearing loss and their families and are worth visiting if you or a loved one is dealing with hearing loss, and supporting, if you want to make a huge difference in the lives of others.