These videos of deaf people hearing for the first time will melt your heart

There have been a number of videos from the last few weeks of deaf people learning to hear for the first time, mostly thanks to technological advances.

These videos of deaf people hearing for the first time will melt your heart

There have been a number of videos from the last few weeks of deaf people learning to hear for the first time, mostly thanks to technological advances.
  • A lot of us don't remember what it's like to hear for the first time.

  • But it can be a very memorable moment for those who have had trouble hearing since birth.

  • There are a number of stories like this, many of which have made their way across social media since they are emotional moments for families. Take this video seen below, tweeted out by chief digital evangelist of Salesforce, Vala Afshar, that shows a deaf baby boy hearing his mother's voice for the first time.

  • This is far from the first video like this to trend on social media.

  • "Imagine hearing the sound of your own voice, or the voice of a loved one, for the very first time," The Huffington Post reported. "For those of us who have always been able to hear, that's hard to do. But have a look at this video montage showing hearing-impaired people hearing for the first time (above). When you see the profound joy that washes over their faces, you'll never take your own hearing for granted again."

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  • One of the ways that deaf people have been given the ability to hear is through cochlear implants, which are devices that replace functions of damaged ears. These devices "pick up and process sounds, and then deliver them straight to the brain," according to The Huffington Post, often creating an emotional response for once deaf people.

  • First approved by the FDA for adults in 1985 and children in 1990, about 219,000 people throughout the world use these devices, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

  • These can be pretty costly devices. The ASHA said the average price ranges from $40,000 to $100,000, depending on individual needs and any surgery that is necessary for the devices.

  • For children, these devices can help with their ability to learn language skills. ASHA reports that children who get these installed earlier tend to do better at learning the English language.

  • And it's not just deaf people who get a new take on life, as there have been technological advances that have given colorblind people an opportunity to see colors for the first time, too.

  • Many of these colorblind people see new colors through color-correcting sunglasses, made by EnChroma. The glasses, which were originally made to help surgeons stay protected during laser eye surgeries, allow people to see more vibrant colors, The Washington Post reported.

  • "The glasses have a purpose beyond just practical use. Satisfied customers are downright flabbergasted by the world of color that most of us take for granted," the Post reported.

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  • Not everyone is on board with sharing these videos, though. As Lilit Marcus once wrote for The Wire, a former news site of The Atlantic, these videos make some deaf people feel like they "are broken and therefore need to be 'fixed.' In reality, there's no such thing as a happily-ever-after."

  • Marcus also wrote that these videos spread the wrong message about cochlear implants, too. Most who have those devices are either babies who are born without hearing, or adults who once had full hearing but lost it in their life.

  • "There isn't a pill that can eliminate deafness, and videos that make it look like cochlear implants are a miracle cure-all do a disservice to the many deaf people who think that their lives are plenty inspiring just the way they are," Marcus wrote.

  • Marcus suggests that those who watch these videos take away a different message than feeling happy for the deaf person's newly found ability to hear. Rather, people should take note of the struggles deaf people deal with every day.

  • "So the next time you see one, don't just cheer for the newly hearing person, but take a moment to think of the others in the deaf community and the viral videos that won't be made about them."

Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.


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