Unless more funds come through and quickly, the Cochlear Implant Association, Inc. will soon be no more. Word has it their website (www.cici.org) will only be up until the end of December. The news page states, "no new memberships, no membership renewals, no new chapter start-up applications." A call today to the phone number ((202)895-2781) listed on the site is answered with a recording stating that the offices are closed. What would losing the CIAI mean for cochlear implantees? It would mean:
- Losing an advocacy organization that represented the interests of cochlear implant users, especially with regard to issues like insurance coverage for implants and post-implant support, and future research.
- Losing a publication just for cochlear implant users, CONTACT.
- Loss of a national "umbrella" for holding conferences and disseminating information.
- Possible loss of chapters. I don't know if the chapters would stay alive even if the national organization died.
And what would it mean for the deaf and hard of hearing community as a whole? It would mean the loss of another organization for the deaf and hard of hearing community at a time when the number of implant users has been increasing exponentially and implantees are increasingly integrated into the broader deaf and hard of hearing community.
How do you feel about the possible if not definite loss of the Cochlear Implant Association, Inc.? Talk about it on the forum.
Just the other day, I learned that another formerly national deaf/hoh organization, KODA, Kids of Deaf Adults, has apparently been reduced to just one KODA chapter, the Metro Maryland KODA.
I will have to revise the titles of the CICI and KODA articles on About Deafness/HOH to state "Former national.."