Comments on "Sound and Fury" video 
Cochlear debate
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 noises.)

Other thoughts
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.

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dorian miller, 2/29/2003