Raised in a hearing environment after being abandoned as a baby, Kimberly appears to have at last found a comfortable home for herself at a deaf university, There, in the early 1980s, she learns sign language and falls in love for the first time. So overwhelmed by this new, supportive community, Kimberly follows her boyfriend Todd into the Deaf Power Movement, which opposes a mainstreamed, assimilated culture. Their chief target is the development of the first FDA-approved cochlear implant. Kimberly, however, has begun to face challenges to her dream of becoming a biologist. Driven by her orphaned childhood and her inexplicable hearing loss, she has devoted her research to genetics. As Kimberly becomes more and more tempted by the possibilities that improved hearing might open up for her both professionally and personally her relationship with Todd becomes strained. Deemed a traitor to the deaf community when she joins the lab that is developing the cochlear implant, Kimberly strives to find her identity as a successful deaf woman who can have the best of both the hearing and deaf worlds.