Covering the Basics: Cochlear Implants Review

Covering the Basics: Cochlear Implants

Video Review 
by Kathleen Kelly MacMillan

© 2001

Covering the Basics: Cochlear Implants
VHS, 40 minutes, ASL, voice-over, closed-captioned, ©2000

Available from:

Dawn Sign Press, 6130 Nancy Ridge Drive, San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: 800.549.5350
URL:, Email: 

This production attempts to clarify the controversy surrounding cochlear implants by offering facts, rather than opinions or emotion. Loni Scalercio, the hearing mother of a Deaf child, introduces the video. Phil Bravin, a Deaf businessman and educator, presents the information throughout. A curious format is used, with Bravin signing on the right side of the screen while a written outline of the major points appears on the left. Because of the nature of the topic and the amount of information presented, this format is ultimately successful.

The presentation begins by acknowledging several assumptions about cochlear implants: that they are controversial, that the technology changes rapidly, and that a variety of options exist besides cochlear implants. Bravin then introduces key terms and concepts, such as types of hearing loss and what causes them. A basic introduction to Deaf culture appears here, but is also expanded upon later on in the presentation. The video emphasizes that sign language is a viable language, and that, like any other language, it can be a bridge to learning a second language.

Bravin then introduces "The Human Ear 101", describing the various parts and functions of the ear in a way that a layperson can readily understand. Hearing aids and cochlear implants are then discussed in relation to this information, so that the viewer gets a clear idea of how these devices work. The issues surrounding cochlear implants are then discussed in more detail, with an emphasis on how these devices differ from hearing aids. Lastly, Bravin warns that the information surrounding cochlear implants is changing rapidly, and that it is important to remain up-to-date and informed about the topic.

This video serves as a balanced overview of the facts about cochlear implants, and will remain useful despite the fact that some of the particulars will be dated.

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