John Cradden: My new book explains how a cochlear implant made me feel more deaf

Posted on September 30, 2016

Born deaf into a hearing family, I grew up as a ‘hearing’ person with the help of powerful hearing aids – attending fully mainstream schools, learning no sign language, and having no friends who were also deaf.

Fast forward to my late thirties, when I went almost completely deaf, I asked to get a cochlear implant. After doing a bit of research on them and then being approved for one in 2011, I decided to take notes about the whole experience as I went along, and my new ebook is the result.

In it, I describe what it felt like to go almost completely deaf, the long assessment process for a cochlear implant, the operation itself, the ‘switch-on’ and the long, tortuous process of re-learning to hear through the implant. I also look at the technology behind cochlear implants, and question how the world perceives them.

But the title, Connected: How a Cochlear Implant Made Me More Deaf, might imply that my implant didn’t work out or was a failure in some way. This is not the case. In fact, the implant is working as well as it should and in many ways it’s better than my old digital hearing aid.

But I also talk about how I went from wondering whether getting a cochlear implant would make me feel more like a hearing person, to a point where it became clear that it wouldn’t. Indeed, rather than feeling more like a hearing person, I began to feel more Deaf. I worked on improving my Irish Sign Language and got more involved in the Deaf community in Dublin. How did that happen? That’s not how it’s supposed to work, is it?

I think that many deaf and hard of hearing people and their families, friends and colleagues – and not just in Ireland – will enjoy and relate to many of the stories in this ebook.

You can purchase it via an ebook publishing platform called Smashwords or from Amazon for the modest price of $2.99.  Any questions or feedback, you can comment below or email me at john [at]


You can buy the book on Amazon here.

Smashwords link:

John Cradden is a freelance journalist based in Co Kildare, Ireland, and writes for a variety of Irish publications, including the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Sunday Times (Ireland), Sunday Business Post, as well as stuff for various other publications and websites, including a bit of sub-editing. Currently working on a (most-likely) self-published book about getting a cochlear implant and other musings on deafness. As someone brought up in hearing family and mainstream schools, used to be indecisive about his deaf identity, but now he’s not so sure. Personal website: Twitter @johncradden


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