At a recent HLA-CentralMA meeting, there was discussion about books: Books about hearing, hearing loss, and cochlear implants. Below is a partial list of resources out there:
Wired for Sound: A Journey Into Hearing
Beverly Biderman (Author)
From Amazon.com: Beverly Biderman reached profound deafness as a teenager and lived in the world of near silence until 1993, when she was fitted with a controversial cochlear implant, the first effective artificial sensory organ ever developed. In Wired for Sound, she has written a deeply moving and personal account of her life before and after the implant. This story is a tale of both physical and emotional transcendence with universal appeal and interest. Voices of deaf people talking about their deafness are included, as well as a balanced exploration of the explosive issues surrounding the Deaf culture’s opposition to cochlear implants. Wired for Sound is essential reading for anyone needing to make an informed choice about cochlear implants and for parents of deaf children, as well as teachers, doctors, therapists, and audiologists. Exhaustively researched, the book includes a detailed appendix with a comprehensive listing of international resources on deafness and cochlear implants, plus an annotated Recommended Reading list.
Rebuilt: My Journey Back to the Hearing World
Michael Chorost (Author)
From Amazon.com: After Michael Chorost suddenly lost what was left of his hearing, he took the radical step of having a cochlear implant — a tiny computer — installed in his head. A technological marvel, the device not only restored to him the world of sound but also could be routinely upgraded with new software. Despite his intitial fear of the technology’s potentially dehumanizing effects, Chorost’s implant allowed him to connect with others in surprising ways: as a cyborg, he learned about love, joined a writing group, and formed deeper friendships. More profoundly, his perception of the world around him was dramatically altered.Brimming with insight and written with charm and self-deprecating humor, Rebuilt unveils, in personal terms, the astounding possibilities of a new technological age.
Shouting Won’t Help: Why I–and 50 Million Other Americans–Can’t Hear You
Katherine Bouton (Author)
For twenty-two years, Katherine Bouton had a secret that grew harder to keep every day. An editor at The New York Times, at daily editorial meetings she couldn’t hear what her colleagues were saying. She had gone profoundly deaf in her left ear; her right was getting worse. As she once put it, she was “the kind of person who might have used an ear trumpet in the nineteenth century.”
Audiologists agree that we’re experiencing a national epidemic of hearing impairment. At present, 50 million Americans suffer some degree of hearing loss—17 percent of the population. And hearing loss is not exclusively a product of growing old. The usual onset is between the ages of nineteen and forty-four, and in many cases the cause is unknown.
Shouting Won’t Help is a deftly written, deeply felt look at a widespread and misunderstood phenomenon. In the style of Jerome Groopman and Atul Gawande, and using her experience as a guide, Bouton examines the problem personally, psychologically, and physiologically. She speaks with doctors, audiologists, and neurobiologists, and with a variety of people afflicted with midlife hearing loss, braiding their stories with her own to illuminate the startling effects of the condition.
The result is a surprisingly engaging account of what it’s like to live with an invisible disability—and a robust prescription for our nation’s increasing problem with deafness.