Media visibility of speaking deaf people is like buses. None, for ages, then a few examples to give us goosebumps. Yes, that’s the effect seeing ourselves represented has on us – if you wondered.
Why does this matter? Quite simply, in terms of seeking accommodation and supports in workplace and education settings. Speaking deaf people are most likely to request realtime captions as a facilitation, whereas signing deaf people will opt for an interpreter.
Cochlear Implants, on The Bachelor
Early on, Abigail told bachelor, Matt, of her hearing and cochlear implants, in a clip shared by the Good Morning America show.
The NY Times on TV Representation
“Deaf characters on TV tend to be portrayed by people who sign and don’t speak”. These words in the New York Times (January 27, 2021) encapsulate the daily challenge speaking deaf people face when living their lives. If we had a dollar for every time someone didn’t believe we don’t sign, we’d be multi-millionaires.
The New York Times piece, As More Deaf People Are Seen On TV, Others Want To Be Heard – alludes to the true diversity within the deaf population – which some natives don’t want to be seen.
[Abigail Heringer is] one of the first speaking deaf people that I’ve seen in mainstream media, so it highlights that deaf does not just mean sign language.Ashley Derrington, blogger, who is hard of hearing and speaks
Oral deaf people are telling their own stories in media terms.
Need For The “You DON’T Sign?” Film
A new film, “You Don’t Sign?”, has three speaking deaf actors introducing themselves at the 2021 Easterseals Film Challenge.
The diversity in the deaf population is modeled by Sound Advice, so it’s fantastic to see mainstream media catching on. Different ways of being deaf exist, and everyone’s lives will be easier once policy makers and legal representatives are guided without having to stumble amidst uncertainty to inform themselves of the facts.