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More 'Sound And Fury'

January 02, 1994

The clash between the deaf community and those who would help restore hearing to the deaf has been unnecessarily polarized in recent years, and Michael D'Antonio's article ("Sound and Fury," Nov. 21) did little to soothe the acrimony.

Cochlear implant technology is not primitive. Rather it is the most sophisticated and technologically advanced medical device ever applied, and its benefit has been repeatedly demonstrated for more than 20 years. When the sound from the implant is combined with lip reading, even the least successful cochlear implant user experiences significant improvement in the ability to communicate.

ROBERT V. SHANNON

DIRECTOR, IMPLANT RESEARCH HOUSE EAR INSTITUTE

Los Angeles

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When my daughter was born deaf in 1967, we began, before her first birthday, with hearing aids (the only amplification available), parent classes and oral communication.

Today, as an oral adult, her achievements include Pomona College and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts/Harvard) and the Presidential Management internship with the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Her other languages are Spanish, French, Hebrew and Italian. She has presented papers at international conferences in Japan and Russia. Recently her name was placed on the register for an appointment to the U.S. Foreign Service, where she may join the subculture of diplomats. All of this has been possible because we began with amplification and oral communication and, for her, it worked.

LINDA M. WHITSON

San Pedro

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