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The Sound Barrier  

1 x 60' 


The ability to hear is something that most people take for granted. While for some deafness is a cherished identity, for others it’s a barrier to overcome. The Sound Barrier follows a number of people who have made the decision to receive a cochlear implant and captures their individual remarkable journeys from silence to sound.

In 1995, Dr. Laura Viani carried out Ireland’s first cochlear implant. She now heads a world class team of surgeons, audiologists and speech and language therapists. Over two decades, the National Cochlear Implant Programme has profoundly changed the lives of over 1000 Irish patients by implanting an electronic device that allows deaf and hard-of-hearing people to again experience sound, bypassing the sensory ‘hair cells’ of the cochlea to send signals directly to the auditory nerve.

This documentary follows the unique stories as they individually prepare and undergo cochlear implant surgery with unprecedented access to the corridors and operating theaters of Beaumont Hospital to capture this uplifting story from the front line.

Production Company:
A Loosehorse Films Production for RTÉ