Posted by Colin Heggie on Feb 16, 2021
Colin Heggie shared Rebecca Knill: How technology has changed what it's like to be deaf | TED Talk  Rebecca is a business systems consultant with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.  She was born profoundly deaf, opting in 2003 to have a cochlear implant, ie- she has 32 computer chips inside her head, coupled with external devices, which allow her to hear.  5% of the world’s population have significant hearing loss – by 2050 that is expected to be about 900m people, including 1 out of 3 seniors.  Hearing people assume that the deaf live in a perpetual state of wanting to hear, but she just wanted to be part of a community like her – she wanted everyone else to be deaf!  Rebecca says “complete silence is very addictive.”  In the absence of sound, her imagination is free to “hear” it.  Plus, with control over her hearing technology, she has the option of turning it off.  Her biggest obstacle as a deaf person is the outdated way people respond to her deafness – with pity, patronization or anger.  Technology has been both a help & a hindrance for her.  Voicemail is a problem, particularly when those around her who know she can’t hear (well), continue to send them.  Email & texting, however, make her life easier, allowing her to participate fully.  She’s on a mission to promote visual options whenever there’s audio.  We need to be connected.