Cochlear Implant Group
The Cochlear Implant Group (CI group) is open to adults with cochlear implants or who are thinking about a cochlear implant, as well as parents of children with cochlear implants in Newfoundland and Labrador. The group usually meets monthly at the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association – Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial office. For those living outside St. John’s, you can also attend meetings by telephone (with captioning).
What does the Cochlear Implant Group do?
- provides support to those with cochlear implants,
- help people make informed choices about cochlear implant surgery,
- assists people to live well with a cochlear implant,
- advocates for improvements to Provincial CI program for adults,
- addresses gaps in services and resources before and after implant.
What Happens at a Cochlear Implant Group Chat & Share Meeting?
The Cochlear Implant group is a very welcoming and supportive group of people who have, or who are thinking about a cochlear implant. Family members are also welcome to attend.
“We are not medical professionals, just people with cochlear implants or thinking about getting them, and we help each other based on our own personal experiences. This group is a welcome opportunity to share our hearing successes and challenges with others who use CI technology to hear. It is also an opportunity to meet people who are considering having an implant. Our meetings are very informal with captioning available. We have an amazing group of individuals who are very willing to support and encourage new people in their quest for better hearing. Family members and friends of CI candidates and those already implanted are welcome to attend. They often already have lots of ideas and suggestions about how to support their family member. They also often get a new perspective on hearing loss and how CI technology works, its possibilities and its limitations.” – Noreen, Group Leader
What Can You Expect When You Attend a Chat & Share Meeting?
- As a new member you can expect that everyone will be interested in meeting you and learning your story.
- Everyone gets an opportunity to ask the group any questions they may have – if you are a new attendee you will be offered the first chance to ask your questions.
- Whoever feels they can answer your question will chime in, and if no one can answer, the group will refer you to someone who they think can help you.
- Group members encourage each other to take their time in making a cochlear implant decision. Members are very empathetic for each other.
- The group also discusses advocacy issues in the community such as encouraging hospitals to use a number ticket system.
- New technology is shared with the group
- The group will help each other make decisions about upgrading their own devices
“I presently have a CI and have been implanted since May 2014. Before my CI I attended the CI group through teleconference, and it helped me immensely with my decision to get implanted. After the surgery I struggled in getting used to the CI but my attendance to the CI group in the fall of 2015, proved to be a great experience. Not only was I able to chat with other individuals just like me, I finally found someone who understood what it is like to have a CI” – Allan
Having Trouble Hearing?
Meetings are hearing accessible. Captioning is used during meetings – when a person speaks it appears on a screen at the front of the room. This helps to confirm and verify what is being said. Microphones are also used to amplify each persons’s voice when they are speaking.
Cochlear Implant Resources
The Cochlear Implant Resource Group has developed a Cochlear Implant Handbook for prospective and new cochlear implant users. For a printed version of this handbook, please contact us.
“The group helped with my decision to have the cochlear implant 9 years ago…It is a major journey but by being involved with others dealing with the same issues made things much easier. We have also formed friendships for life as we deal with day to day issues. I cannot find enough words to describe how happy my husband and I are to have reached out to CHHA-NL when we were struggling to deal with hearing loss. A very dark cloud over us turned to sunshine”. – Dora
For More Information
For more information about the Cochlear Implant Group, please contact us.
Images (top) from MED-EL (www.medel.com) and (bottom) from Cochlear (www.cochlear.com)