Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Auditory nerve implant could drastically benefit deaf individuals

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Early last year, gurus at the University of Michigan were devising a newfangled type of cochlear implant, but now it looks like the Wolverines are more interested in a fresh auditory nerve implant that is being dubbed “a superior alternative” to the (now) old fashioned option. The uber-thin electrode array would purportedly “transmit a wide range of sounds to the brain,” and could give profoundly and severely deaf people the ability to “to hear low-pitched sounds common in speech, converse in a noisy room, identify high and low voices, and appreciate music.” Researchers on the project are convinced that this technology trumps cochlear implants in every way, and while preliminary patents have already been filed, it’ll still be nearly a decade at best before these things can invade human ears en masse.

[Via Physorg]

Deaf man killed when struck by car in Bordentown

BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP — A deaf man from the township died early this morning at a Trenton hospital after he was struck by a car while walking on Route 130 South, police said.

Thomas B. Cline, 37, of Ward Avenue was walking alone at 12:04 a.m. in the right lane of the highway near the intersection with Groveville Road when he was struck by a southbound car, said Lt. Norman Hand.

Cline was taken to Capital Health System, Fuld Campus in Trenton, where he was pronounced dead at 2:42 a.m., Hand said.

The driver of the car, Edward Steffen of East Drive in Bordentown Township, was not injured, the lieutenant said.

Steffen stopped immediately after striking Cline and reported the accident, Hand said. An investigation is still ongoing but he said no charges have been filed.

“It’s a low visibility area and the next thing he knew the victim was in front of him,” Hand said.

Investigators have not determined where Cline was coming from or walking to yesterday morning. He said Cline is deaf, but investigators haven’t determined if that was a factor in the accident.

Softball Signers

With warm weather here, more kids are heading outdoors. For some, that means joining a summer sports team. This is the story of one softball team that’s a little different than the others. 

You can always tell when a group of kids is having a good time. Sometimes the signs are subtle, sometimes they tell the story. 

Spencer Willey says, “I like playing baseball.” 

Like all the others, this preschool team’s average height is almost four feet and their average attention span is right around four seconds. But one thing’s a little different. 

Dawson Postl says, “It’s the Deaf team, with some hearing people.” 

Inside each one of their hunter green shirts is a kid who either is deaf, has a cochlear implant, or is a KODA. 

Postl says, “It means your parents are Deaf.” 

Postl is a KODA himself and his dad Rick is the team’s coach.

Rick Postl says, “For me, it’s a privilege to be Deaf and I see that Deaf kids are the same. They have the opportunity to live a normal life just communicating with their hands.” 

And when watching these kids, it’s easy to see that their coach is right. If you ask about any special girls on the team you get, a boy will just shake his head and laugh. 

Show up with a camera and tell kids they might be on TV, and they’ll stick out their tongue. 

Whether they’re running straight for home, or not sure where to go, these kids show their coach that this field is for everyone. 

Coach Postl says, “On the field, there are players who want to play, who want to learn the game, who want to win. 

And the fact that someone is Deaf or hearing, black or white, it doesn’t matter. It’s just a fun game that everyone loves to play.” 

And the kids, just out having a good time, are showing all the signs of that.