College of Arts and Sciences | Can you hear me now?
C105 | 28854 | Lentz, J.
COLL-C 105 28854 Can you hear me now? (Lentz, J.: Speech and Hearing
Sciences) (N & M) (3 cr.)
What would you do if you couldn't hear? Millions of Americans face
this problem but are able to improve their communication skills by
coupling hearing aids with visual information in the form of
lipreading (or speechreading) and gestures.
However, in many cases, hearing loss is so severe that a deaf or
hard-of-hearing person must rely on visual communication in the form
of sign language.
Before the 1980s, a child born with severe hearing loss had little
choice but to learn sign language within a culture of Deafness. More
recently, however, this culture is being threatened by the cochlear
implant, an implantable device that allows access to hearing for those
who are deaf. To many within the Deaf community, the cochlear implant
represents the end of Deafness as a way of life. On the other hand,
others argue that the cochlear implant provides the potential for deaf
individuals to better succeed in a world that values hearing. The
opinions of each side are strong and compelling and have led to what
one might consider a ‘war on a culture' or a ‘war against technology'
depending on the perspective. Today, both sides are only beginning to
accept the merits of both perspectives.
This course challenges students to delve further into the issues
surrounding hearing loss, Deaf culture, visual communication and the
cochlear implant. We seek to understand the mechanisms of hearing loss
and deafness, the visual system, and how the auditory and visual
systems function together rather than as separate sensory systems.
Further, we explore how Deaf culture came to be and how the cochlear
implant has challenged the identities of many within Deaf culture.
These goals are achieved through watching films, reading books,
writing essays, and experimental tests of perception.