The video “Sound and fury” demonstrates the debate between
the hearing and deaf community about children having cochlear implants.
The essence of the debate is defining what is best for the child. Each
community believes that its culture best serves the child. My suggestion
for furthering the debate is for the two communities to foster an
understanding of each other’s cultures and come closer together. With a
better understanding the hearing will appreciate the deaf culture.
Likewise, the deaf will not fear losing a deaf child with a cochlear
implant to the hearing community.
The hearing community argues that a cochlear implant enables the
child to live a more “normal” life in the hearing community. With
a cochlear implant the child will have the facility to learn speech and
communicate verbally. Verbal communication will make life in
school or work simpler as it is easier for the person to communicate
with hearing people (the majority of the population).
The deaf community argues that a child with cochlear implants will
lose its connection with the deaf community. Although the child could
continue being in the deaf community, for example using sign language,
speech therapists advocate the child only use speech in order to learn
it properly. Without sign language communication among the deaf
deteriorates along with culture.
The reluctance of the deaf community to accept cochlear implants is
clearly demonstrated in the video. Repeatedly different members of the
deaf community express the sadness and hurt of losing a deaf person to
the hearing community. Deaf people must sometimes have an uncomfortable
relationship with hearing people as it is difficult to communicate; for
example, when the deaf girl visited the school of students with cochlear
implants, she was very frustrated by the inability to communicate with
them. She felt happier in the school for the deaf in Massachusetts where
she could communicate freely with sign language. My interpretation of
the deaf’s reluctance comes from their unfamiliarity with the hearing
culture. Deaf parents have difficulty understanding the advantage
of restoring some of a deaf child’s hearing because they have never
experienced it themselves.
Therefore to further the debate between the hearing and deaf
communities I suggest they should become better acquainted with one
another’s cultures; for example, hearing people could learn to sign a
few basic words. Furthermore the communities should communicate fluently
with one another, for instance, by using an interpreter or a chat room
where everyone has to type. With a better understand they will be able
to communicate as people rather than members of different groups.
(In writing this, I think about how my view must be biased by my
experience as a hearing person. I am also influenced by my experience
with deaf people, which has been very pleasant. I would communicate with
some basic sign language or on a writing block. The most beautiful part
is the peaceful silence from communicating without making sound. I
experience the “silence” even when there are other background
As an engineer watching the video I was inspired to enabling
deaf people to experience dancing. The difficulty for blind people
to dance is the inability to perceive the rhythm and beat of the music.
One possibility is for the deaf watch and follow the lead of a
conductor. However, it might not always be possible to see the
conductor. Another possibility would be to have a tactile interface that
taps at the beat of the music. However, I'm not sure how the music’s
beat would be extracted from recorded audio. Examining frequency
spectrums might not be sufficient -- that is my 15-minute understanding.
Watching this video for the second time gave me new observations
about the filming of the video. First, as mentioned for the Enable
video, the families in the movie are wealthy and have the resources to
choose between opportunities. Second, it is interesting to think about
the conversation between the deaf and hearing. In the video it appeared
to be to hearing people having a verbal conversation. Although this is
very natural for a hearing person to follow, watching the actual
conversation must be a dramatically different experience.