The increasing cohort of 21st century parents and deaf children who choose technology like cochlear implants in place of learning sign-language, is documented in a front-page article in The New York Times (July 27, 2011).
Less than 20 percent of all families [with deaf children] choose American Sign Language, with 80 percent wanting their children to enjoy sounds [with cochlear implants] and to be able to listen and speak, the piece reports.
The two main communication options: (1) sign language and (2) the listening and spoken (auditory-verbal) language approach are widely used in deaf education. Both are a matter of personal choice [by parents], but in the US, tight budgets for deaf education are turning preferences to policy decisions.
* Amidst Budget Cuts, Tensions Over Teaching Deaf People (NYTimes.com)
* Is Technology Killing Sign Language? (gizmodo.com)