(KAIT/NBC) - A 17-year-old high school senior from Kansas credits cochlear implants for her achievements.
In fact, you would never know she was born deaf.
Reagan Emerson didn't respond to any hearing tests after she was born in 2000.
Her parents, concerned but not hopeless, decided to try new technology.
Audiologist Doctor Leigh Ann Monthey says 90 percent of babies who have hearing loss are born to families who hear normally, making communication more difficult.
"If Reagan hadn't had access to a cochlear implant her life would have been very different," Monthey says. "She may have had to use hearing aids or may have needed to develop sign language to communicate with any other individuals."
The NIDCD says around 324,200 registered devices have been implanted worldwide since December 2012.
Read more of Reagan's story by clicking here.