A cochlear implant, or CI, is a device that provides a person who is deaf or has hearing loss with access to sound. A cochlear implant bypasses damaged or nonfunctioning parts of the ear to create a representation of sound for the user, however it does not restore hearing or cure hearing loss. This is much different than a hearing aid, which amplifies existing hearing.Learn More
A cochlear implant is a complex device that requires regular maintenance. Despite regular maintenance, sometimes your cochlear implant may have technical problems that need troubleshooting. Visit the CI Maintenance section to learn more about how to maintain and troubleshoot your device every day and when traveling.Learn More
While communication plays a large role in our everyday lives, communication can sometimes be hard, especially for individuals with cochlear implants. For that reason, it is important that both the speaker and listener use optimal communication strategies. Visit the Communication Strategies section to learn more about communication and the optimal communication strategies.Learn More
Physical environments are a large cause of communication difficulties for adults with cochlear implants. Physical aspects of the environment, such as poor lighting or seating, echoes or reverberations, or excessive background noise, can challenge communication. Visit the Physical Environment section to learn more about these environments.Learn More
Social interactions are a large cause of communication difficulties for adults with cochlear implants. Social interactions are environments in which communication becomes difficult because of a social aspect of the environment, like a speaker having an accent or speaking too quickly. Visit the Social Interactions section to learn more about these environments.Learn More
Self-advocacy is the ability to effectively communicate and negotiate one’s interests, needs, and rights. The more you discuss your hearing needs, the more comfortable and less anxious you will feel doing it. Visit the Self-Advocacy Skills section to learn more about self-advocacy and how to improve your self-advocacy skills.Learn More
Friends & Family
Although cochlear implants provide access to sound, cochlear implant users’ brains must learn how to interpret what they hear as meaningful information. This is hard work for the cochlear implant user, their families, friends, and the experts helping them with this process. Your friend or family member will need your support and accommodations as they learn to use their cochlear implant.Learn More
KDHRC conducts rigorous research to explore complex social problems and construct powerful programs that improve the health and well-being of youth, families, and communities. For more information and additional programs, visit www.kdhrc.com.
The Cochlear Implant Support Center was developed by KDH Research & Communication (KDHRC) with funding from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (grant number 1R43DC015194-01A1). The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders or the National Institutes of Health.