Super Bowl Essay Win by Deaf Girl Brings About Claims of Audism
In what was meant to be a feel good story, a local fifth-grade girl, Caroline Masia, won an NFL-sponsored Super Bowl essay contest after writing about hearing for the first time after receiving a Cochlear implant. Though the win has caused some controversy in the deaf community and brought about accusations of audism, or discrimination against the deaf.
NBCMiami reports that the Cochlear implant surgery is controversial in the deaf community, and some feel it contributes to the destruction of Deaf culture.
"People in the deaf community are very split and emotions run very high on both sides of the issue. We are used to this by now, but it still always shocks you. Many people in the Deaf community believe we mutilated her," Masia's mother, Miriam tells NBCMiami.
Some activist claim that Cochlear implants segregates the Deaf community, and downplays the importance of American Sign Language. Though, studies show that children who receive the surgery, though aware of the controversy, have positive feelings about the surgery.
Particularly, activists take the win as a signal that the NFL views deafness as an unwanted disability that can and should be overcome, and not something to be proud of living with.