CIICA CONVERSATION FOR 18-30’s with CI: How do CI influence our human connections?

CI USERS 18-30 : Wed 11 May, 2022

Our CIICA CONVERSATIONS are one hour discussions about the issues important to you. This conversation was led  by Bowen Tang, President IFHOHYP, CI user and based in Canada and Qais Khan, CI user and Graphic Designer, based in UK.

Seven CI users from 5 countries (Canada, Finland, Spain, UK,  Brazil )  shared their experiences with CI in the second CIICA CONVERSATION FOR 18-30 year olds with cochlear implants. Three educators who work with young people attended.

Bowen led the session, reflecting on the previous conversation and the issues which had emerged. He thanked everyone for sharing their backgrounds:

“some of us have had it (CI) for many years and some of us got it more recently, and some just want to know more about implants. “

“..some of the things we like to pick our brains on perhaps, so we can grow together as we navigate our lives…”

Bowen then shared the topics from the previous Conversation and asked the questions:

  • How do we advocate for ourselves?
  • How does our cochlear implant influence our friendships, our successes and most of all our identity?
  • Are there any other issues such as tinnitus that we face?

Advocating for ourselves

Communication is key, to make awareness you  know. If you don’t have anything to say, how would people know, they can’t read our minds, we have to speak up for ourselves.”

Working with a charity was thought helpful to raise awareness and advocate, and others used the internet with CI users to get and give information.

“Its informing them about the implant, and raising awareness.”

Key issues to emerge were:

Examples of  self advocacy: 

“ I got my implant at 11 it was quite late I could speak and everything,……but later with the second implant, ….I had to do a meeting with all the teachers  and explaining what an implant was, the way I hear, why I needed more help than I did before and stuff like that. It was a bit scary because it was like who am I , …..  I was kindof scared too because I didn’t know how they would respond. But at the end it was super…… I was really grateful for that opportunity because it was like learning to advocate for myself.”

Parents’ roles in supporting advocacy and independence.

How to explain about the technology if you don’t understand it yourself!

The importance of sharing experiences and having positive role models.

“we need role models with cochlear implants… I model and wear a cochlear implant so hopefully that will encourage the kids…”

How do we identify ourselves?

Deaf, hearing, both, a CI user? – these were the options brought up.

“I am now accepting the word for myself and I cant hide any more when I’m wearing my cochlear implant that I am deaf, as I could with a hearing aid.”

Read the whole summary of the conversation:

This group inspires me : it’s amazing to see everybody here. It gives me hope.”

Thank you for making this safe place for us! Jana, Spain