Many people just spell "CI" to mean "cochlear implant.
The original sign that was used for this concept was
to jab behind the ear with a "bent-V" handshape. (Some people even do the sign with a "bent-U" handshape.)
A short while back I noticed a 14-year old girl (who attended the California
School for the Deaf (CSD) in Fremont)
using a "bent-U" on the cheekbone in-front of the ear (almost in the ear
canal) to mean "HEARING AID." So I can see how tapping the
fingertips of a bent-U" behind the ear could become popular to mean "Cochlear Implant.
(Time will tell.)
I notice that when I do the sign with a "bent-V" I tend to use a single
movement--which causes the sign to mean "implanted." As in, "He has
been implanted." Sort of makes it seem like we are talking about
someone in whom aliens have taken an interest.
Initially the use of "CI" (fingerspelling "C" and "I") was simply a "euphemism"
-- (a polite way of saying "cochlear implant) since it was less "graphic." As time passed,
the sign "CI" has gained widespread use.
For now I want my students to know both versions of "cochlear implant" --
the fingerspelled "CI" version as well as the "IMPLANTED" (bent-V) version.
The traditional sign for "cochlear implant" uses a "bent V" handshape. Poke your head behind your ear.
COCHLEAR IMPLANT: (side view)
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