epd-proposal-1 - Andrew Holzman 3/5/08 EPD 155-6 Excuse me...

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Andrew Holzman 3/5/08 EPD 155-6 Excuse me teacher, what did you say? Introduction Imagine being deaf and you are presented with the possibility of hearing through a new technological advancement. How great does that sound? New hearing aids can now make this a possibility. One of the most advanced forms of hearing aids are cochlear implants; instead of amplifying sound, like a regular hearing aid, cochlear implants can actually “bypass the damaged areas of the ear and stimulate the auditory nerve directly” (Walker, 2008, p.1). In simpler terms, cochlear implants, which are installed via a surgical operation, make it possible for the hearing-impaired to hear. The deaf are excellent communicators and are able to overcome what some would call a disability by communicating at an extremely high level through sign language. However, many prominent members of the deaf community suggest that recent technological advances in the field of hearing aids have begun to destroy the deaf culture. Unfortunately, such a major technological development does not come without controversy. Many deaf people, whose first language is American Sign Language (ASL), are afraid that their language is going to become extinct and that there will be deaf people left behind who will not have a language to speak if their implants do not function properly. Both the supporters and opponents of cochlear implants argue about the effectiveness and limits of the device, and
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it remains to be seen whether or not cochlear technology is able to correct hearing impairments. By researching cochlear implants and their impact on a child’s education I will attempt to determine which language deaf students should be taught in. Personal Interest Since last spring I have changed my career interests many times, but after volunteering in the Special Education department at Madison West High School, I know think that I want to be a teacher. Accompanying my volunteer work, I am also currently in a class called Individuals with Disabilities, in class, we have learned about different kinds of legislation that have affected persons with disabilities and much of it relates to people who have hearing and seeing impairments. I have researched many aspects of the issue including the technology behind cochlear implants, the arguments for and against the implantation of cochlear devices in children, and the effects of cochlear implants amongst children. Because of my previous knowledge of children with disabilities and the fact that I have not made a conclusion about which group is correct, I am a viable candidate to research further the effect cochlear implants have on a child’s education. Synopsis of Opinions Among the most debated topics in deaf education is how to determine the best way to educate the deaf. Is it by teaching orally and trying to develop speech and hearing skills, or should educators take a bilingual approach, which is teaching in ASL and teaching English as a second language? Burton Bollag (2006) suggests that there is a distinct possibility that students with cochlear implants who are being taught bilingually 2
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are held back from their true academic potential (p.2).
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course EPD 155 taught by Professor Gold during the Spring '08 term at University of Wisconsin.

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epd-proposal-1 - Andrew Holzman 3/5/08 EPD 155-6 Excuse me...

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