Experts Discuss the Benefits of Cochlear Implants During Lecture Series Event

Sowell Lecture Series explores topics surrounding hearing device that helps severely deaf children and adults.

Written by Sarah Whetstone

Cochlear implants use the body’s nervous system and electricity to stimulate sound sensations allowing the person to hear.

One of the most recent breakthroughs in hearing devices, the cochlear implant, gives severely deaf children and adults who have never been able to hear the opportunity to experience sound.

The 10th Annual Sowell Center Distinguished Lecturer Series is hosting two distinguished lecturers, Joe McNulty of the Helen Keller National Center and Mona McCubbin of the Heuser Hearing Institute, on Oct. 25 in the basement lecture hall of the English/Philosophy building.

McCubbin will begin speaking at 9 a.m. followed by a short presentation by Tori Gustafson of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center who will be sharing local resources for cochlear implant users. Lunch will be served at noon and McNulty will begin his presentation at 1 p.m. A question and answer session will begin at 4 p.m.

The speakers will explore topics surrounding what some call the “bionic ear.” Discussion will focus on how cochlear implants help children participate in educational settings as well as how they help some users in a variety of job settings.

Cochlear implants are typically used by profoundly deaf people. Unlike hearing aids, which simply amplify real sounds for the hard of hearing, the implanted device uses the body’s nervous system and electricity to stimulate sound sensations for the wearer, ultimately allowing the person to hear.

The lecture series allows professionals working with the visually impaired, hearing impaired and those suffering from deafblindness to continue education in the field and stay current with emerging research, technology and teaching trends.

The Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research & Education in Visual Imparement is part of the College of Education.

For an itinerary of events or to register for the lecture series, visit the Sowell Center Web site. Parents and teachers of those with implants as well as those who currently use cochlear implants are encouraged to participate.