You are welcome to participate (free entry)

Sunday, May 5th 2019
16:00 - 17:30 CET

Web seminar with Bodo Bertram

Post-operative hearing and speech therapy after a CI: are aural speech and sign language mutually exclusive?

Language: German, Russian

NEW online room 

For parents

The presentation and ensuing discussion should provide food for thought for parents regarding whether acquisition of sign language is desirable - or, conversely, whether it detracts from the main goal of acquiring spoken language.

For experts

Professional opinion on this matter varies. From the standpoint of language acquisition science, sign language is learned in much the same way as spoken language. My experience of working with deaf CI-wearing children with deaf parents has shown that a bilingual competence is possible. However, deaf parents have a very different initial communication situation with their children compared to normal-hearing parents.

About the topic

The overarching goal of providing a CI to a deaf child is to enable them to follow a largely normal learning pathway towards spoken language. However, for various reasons some children do not thrive with spoken language. This prompts us to consider making these children a simultaneous offer of sign language.

This is a hotly contested topic; among others, the German deaf association demands that children with CIs receive sign language input on a mandatory basis.

The question on whether this is realistic, stands. When to implement this, and for all CI children or only a few with additional difficulties?

We should also consider the fact that most parents and mainstream teachers are not competent in sign language; the dilemma of whether the decision should be unilaterally made by the parents should also be raised.

About the presenter

Dr. rer.biol.hum. Bodo Bertram is a certified pedagogue for hearing-impaired children and an SLP with more than 50 years of experience in teaching children with hearing loss.

Of these, 30 years have been connected to the CI technology, the creation of the first post-operative CI (re)habilitation program for children in Germany.

Dr. Bertram directed the world’s first CI center from June 1989 to December 2008 (founded by Dr. Prof. Ernst Lehnhardt, at that time Director of the ENT Clinic of the Medical College of Hannover; first CI surgery performed 1984; first early pediatric implantation in Europe 1987).

Further reading.

Announcement: next forum discussion

May 19th, Bodo Bertram


Bodo Bertram


Monika Lehnhardt-Goriany

Translation en-ru-de

Anastasia Flanagan