The deaf community covers such a broad spectrum. We are
involved in many things such as education and hearing health care as well
as just general lifestyle choices. Everyone is entitled to make these choices
for themselves. I promote the oral options on my web site. I would be pleased
to hear from anyone who is moved to comment on these issues. E-mail me
The following poem was published in the Winter, 1998 edition of Soundings.
I think it is a beautifully eloquent plea for cochlear implants for children.
I asked the author if I could post it on my web site and she kindly gave
me permission. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Spoken from the Heart
Don't let me be deaf
if there is a way
For me to hear
the sounds of today.
Give me a chance
to hear and understand
With this device
that was made by man.
Let me be normal
or as close as I can be,
To depend upon my ears
not what my eyes can see.
Give me the chance to speak
sounds from my mouth,
And not with my hands
that moves about.
Let me hear the music
of today's world
Just like any young
teenage boy or girl.
And to someday hear
a baby's cries, right from the start
Not the vibration from
holding close to my heart.
Give me a chance to hear
to learn, and explore
With this device that has opened
many hidden doors.
I did not ask to be born
into a silent world,
And neither did any
little boy or girl.
Why can't we live both worlds
and why can't you see,
I will still be the same child
you raised me to be.
The world is changing
don't leave us behind,
Give us the opportunity
to widen our minds.
As deaf children, we deserve
to hear, speak and understand
Only! our parents hold the key
in the palm of their hand.
But I do ask!
If there is a way I could hear
the beautiful sounds of life,
To be able to speak and understand
then as a child, I HAVE THAT RIGHT.
People like to say there are two sides to every story. True enough. And, here is another poem about deafness. This was written by someone who chooses to live in silence.
We cannot hear anything at all,
Because we are deaf.
Cannot hear voices,
We only see their mouths moving.
Cannot hear our own voices,
We only feel it in our throats.
Cannot hear laughter,
We only see it in their faces.
Cannot hear the sound of playing,
We only see other people play.
Cannot hear the screams,
We only see their mouths open or the startled reactions of people
Cannot hear weeping,
We only see their tearstained cheeks.
Cannot hear the scolding,
We only see it in their scowling faces and fingers shaking up and
down in our faces.
Cannot hear love and peace in voices of beloved ones,
We only see love and peace in their faces.
Cannot hear our names being announced,
We only know if our friends, family, or interpreters inform us.
Cannot hear the beat of music,
We only feel the vibrations.
Cannot hear wind whistling through leaves on the trees,
We only see the leaves moving and the trees swaying.
Cannot hear the oceans; waves beating upon shores,
We only see them crashing forward, then retreating.
Cannot hear the footsteps in the darkness,
We only feel them.
Cannot hear the hum of machines around us,
We only feel them when we place our hands upon them.
Cannot hear the televisions,
We only read the words on the screen with the help of closed
Cannot hear the sounds the seasons bring to us,
We only see the changes the seasons bring to us.
The list can only be endless.
Hearing people's world is filled with sounds.
Our world is filled with sights and vibrations.
They think we are missing out on the sounds.
We think they are missing out on the sights and vibrations;
They take them for granted.
We will never hear even if hearing people put their mouths to our
scream down into them.
But we can hear one golden sound very well - SILENCE.
-by Kimberly Dianne Richards
I am often asked how I feel about my cochlear implant and whether I think the implant should be available to children. I think people should read these poems and think about how they make you feel.
If while reading them, you yearn to hear the sounds of life (or want them for your child), if you feel life is missing something when lived in silence, then go for the cochlear implant.
On the other hand, if you can identify with the author of the poem, Our Deafness, you would probably be happier living deaf.
The choice is yours alone to make. Much information is available on all sides of the issue. Look into it.
I chose to hear!
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