The American Cochlear Implant Alliance (ACI Alliance) published the story of Lexi Finigan, a cochlear implant recipient who voiced the title character in the 2022 streaming series “El Deafo.” Written by Lexi’s mother, Rosie Finigan, “A Deaf Child from China to the Voice of Apple TV’s El Deafo: The Power of Families,” is an engaging narrative chronicling Lexi’s story through persistent parental advocacy and the strength of supportive networks, both family and professional. 

Rosie recalls worrying about Lexi getting a late start with her cochlear implants and challenging conversations with schools about whether the options initially presented for Lexi were truly the best options for her.

Rosie said, “Through this process I have met the most wonderful people, some of whom I have yet to meet in person and others who have become lifelong friends. It has taught us important lessons and even shaped the path of my older daughter as she plans to go to college to become a pediatric audiologist. As a family, we have witnessed the miracle of modern medicine and what the support of a strong family can do.”

One key to Lexi’s success was the way the family took advantage of resources to support her hearing journey. From the initial support they found at the University of Miami, the Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) in St Louis, and the John Tracy Center to the summer programs at Atlanta Speech School and River School, they also turned to online support resources through Hearing First, AG Bell, and several parent community groups including the Facebook group for Parents of Children with Cochlear Implants. Rosie noted that each of these resources taught them something unique or a new approach. 

ACI Alliance is a not-for-profit membership organization created with the purpose of eliminating barriers to cochlear implantation by sponsoring research, driving heightened awareness, and advocating for improved access to cochlear implants for patients of all ages across the US. 

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Source: ACI Alliance

Image: ACI Alliance