Sweden has maintained an environment of equal opportunities and inclusive disability policies for its citizens. In Swedish education, a bilingualism method of Swedish Sign Language and spoken Swedish is used in teaching deaf children. The cochlear implant device is considered an advanced form of hearing technology and is used with deaf youth to assist with speech development. Several medical experts and researchers support the language development theory that there is a "critical period" for a deaf person to acquire natural language and speech development at a young age. Some experts believe that in order to achieve this language acquisition of the spoken language, deaf children are encouraged to get implants as early as possible. The focus of this thesis is to examine how the emergence of cochlear implant technology impacts Sweden's environment toward existing disability policies and procedures in education, health care, and organizations serving deaf people. This thesis will be addressed in the following 3 ways: 1. Provide current documentation of criteria and processes for obtaining a cochlear implant. 2. Gather existing policy statements on cochlear implants from major organizations serving deaf people. 3. Collect historical and current statistical data of the deaf population who have cochlear implants or hearing aids in compulsory education including special schools (first grade to ninth grades). To explore the current circumstances of cochlear implant use in the educational environment in Sweden, an in-depth literature review was conducted about Sweden's history and background of cochlear implant use. Surveys were distributed to five major community organizations and agencies serving deaf people as well as six community hospitals about the process and procedures for obtaining cochlear implants in Sweden. This research process collected information that occurred predominantly mostly in 2007 followed by interpretations, analysis of the survey results, and new findings.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cochlear implants--Sweden--Research; Deaf--Education--Government policy--Sweden; Deaf students--Sweden

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Department of Science Technology and Society/Public Policy (CLA)


DeCaro, James


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