A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person whose hearing loss is too severe to be corrected by hearing aids. A cochlear implant is very different from a hearing aid. Hearing aids amplify sounds so they may be detected by damaged inner ear hair cells. Cochlear implants bypass damaged hair cells and directly stimulate the auditory nerve.
A microphone (1) on the outside of the ear picks up sound and sends it to a microprocessor (2) behind the ear. The microprocessor converts the sound into signals that are sent via a cable (3) through a transmitting coil (4) to the internal implant (5), which includes an electrode (6) that stimulates the hearing nerve (7).
Approximately 250 children in the province of British Columbia use a cochlear implant; among these children, 140 school-aged students received support through our program last year.
As well as loans of assistive listening devices, Auditory Outreach provides audiology, speech language pathology, and hearing resource teacher outreach services for CI students attending BC public schools and group 1 or 2 independent schools. Our team works together with students, families, teachers, and other professionals on equipment and educational issues pertaining to cochlear implants (CI).