What happens when a deftly drafted television program script has lots of lines for actors to say.. but not to voice?
Well, if you are a fan of the ABCFAMILY show Switched At Birth you have probably heard the buzz that this coming Monday, March 4th, the episode will have lots of lines for actors.. just in SIGN only!
This all ASL, no voice episode, is groundbreaking, innovative and thrilling for those of us who live, love or work within the deaf community!
Check your local listings about when this episode will air near you.
Video rebroadcast is via the ABCFAMILY website. There is additional content that includes video interviews that are voiced, signed and captioned.
Others have commented on this episode as well, including LATimes, Backstage and National Association for the Deaf.
I hope readers of this blog will join me in watching this show and supporting the pioneer cast and crew involved.
Have a groovy weekend!
I have this dream. That one day I will be flipping through my cable TV guide and there it will be … a list of TV channels 24/7 programming in American Sign Language. Each one with news being delivered in sign language, a full cast of deaf actors or signing characters in animation. These shows will have captions for the hearing, such as was the case in UNIVERSAL SIGNS. I yearn for daily signed content available to anyone to watch on their TV set.
I know that there are already front runners in this endeavor. Some cable networks have slots for deaf content and there is much online TV in sign language. I LOVE DeafTV.com and video channels such as D-PAN (Deaf Performing Arts Network). But, what I am campaigning for are channels equivalent to Telemundo or CCTV where live content streams all day, everyday!.
Why? Well, in the United States American Sign Language is the fourth most commonly used language. (Behind English, Spanish and Chinese). All of these languages and respective cultures are represented with a mainstream TV presence. Where are the ASL channels? The Deaf Community Channels? In addition, many excellent deaf actors seek employment but find this road much more challenging than their hearing counterparts due to limited roles or maybe even understanding. (The same can be true of others with unique challenges.)
So, bravo to ABCFamily and others who put shows with content that demonstrates the deaf culture, sign language and employs deaf actors! Now let’s see if we can expand to 24/7 deaf networks on public / cable TV. I know I am not alone with my dream.
Your respectful thoughts are welcome.
FINALLY there is a new show on television which incorporates a deaf and hearing cast of teens and adults who perform a script that spotlights the wonderful deaf culture and American Sign Language. Many love the show. And, some are harsh critics. I love the show on so many levels as this seminole drama helps to increase awareness about deafness, ASL and so much more! Plus, it is just a fun weekly series to view! (What will become of Emmitt and Bay?)
I love that SWITCHED AT BIRTH is imperfect. The hearing cast members sign awkwardly as a novice signer often does. Many use their signs too literally and not conceptually – which is another rookie mistake that shows the authenticity of these newbie signers. In addition, the cultural lessons are exemplified throughout the various story arcs. This past week, Daphne (played by Katie LeClerc) joined her team at a championship game. Deaf families came from all over the country to see the basketball team play in solidarity and support of the deaf school that Daphne attends. Not THEIR local school but another region’s school. This is a very typical scenario within the deaf community and one that I am glad the director and writers highlighted. (For those who are interested in learning more about deaf culture and the importance that deaf schools has made on the deaf community please watch the brilliant THROUGH DEAF EYES available on PBS).
As I embark on going to Los Angeles as the newest member of THE LINICOMN AGENY, I only hope that our Exceptional Talent division will have an opportunity to shine a spotlight on many talented youth and adults who happen to have sensory or learning differences. If you are interested in learning more on how you can audition to become a member of THE LINICOMN AGENCY , please leave a comment here and I will connect back with you.
If you are interested in learning more about sign language go here–> SIGNING FAMILIES
Natasha in a pic used for sign language photo cards for special education
I grew up in an area where there were lots of languages spoken. So, it is of no surprise that when my hubby and I had kids we decided to raise them in a home with several languages. And since I worked at the Delaware State School for the Deaf at the time of the birth of our first child , incorporating sign language in to our home was an obvious choice.
At first it was fun to introduce a variety of languages to our little mini-robot, eh daughter, Natasha. But, the value of having a signing home really came in to play when our son, Seth, was born prematurely and experienced serious speech delays. Years later we still use sign language in our home, school and places of work. Of course for me, merging my work as a psychologist with my love for sign language resulted in development of my company, SIGNING FAMILIES™.
I asked Natasha to film a bit about growing up in a bilingual home as part of the SIGNING FAMILIES™ Just the Basics and Just the Kids online sign language courses. Below is the video. (She has additional signing videos we will include as well in the series,too!) I especially like the part where she discusses sign language in respect to culture. I also was pleased to see that ABCFamily wrote that very aspect in to their most recent episode of Switched At Birth when one mom discussed with the other the importance of deaf culture in relation to ASL.
SIGNING FAMILIES™ has new products too. Believe it or not we have HEBREW– ASL – ENGLISH Bookmarks in stock now. Go here to learn more (Also available with Spanish-ASL-English)
I am trying out the new font from WORDPRESS..not sure if I like it or not…
And will you be joining me and countless others with the boycott against purchasing a single item that profits Casey Anthony?