My friend sent me this article. It was very enlightening. Particularly this section:
But, like the hearing aid in my other ear, the implant is nowhere near as good as a human ear — either for hearing or for filtering out what I don’t want to hear.
In a noisy environment like a restaurant, a person with normal hearing will still be able to hear his companion. But in that same environment, a hearing-impaired person will hear chairs scraping, dishes clanking, waiters shouting, all of it bouncing off the high ceilings, the bare walls, the chic metallic tables and chairs — an anxiety-provoking wall of noise. Worst of all is the restaurant’s background music, sometimes competing with a different sound track throbbing in the kitchen.
Sound Bites, by Kathrine Bouton
I learnt a few years ago that some (many?) Deaf people choose to put down hearing aids, and stop using cochlear implants. For them, their ‘natural’ lack of hearing is better than the annoyingly amplified sound of these devices. For these people, signing is natural for them. Hearing is hard work.
I can’t imagine having to work to communicate with my family. Being able to use speech is good, but, for me, the most important thing is ability to communicate without struggle. That’s why I would encourage families of deaf to learn sign language, let their deaf children learn sign language. That can make a very big, positive difference in their lives.