Working as an actress who is deaf… 

We need more roles and exposure!

Rebecca A. Withey

Whether you’re aware of the #deaftalent hashtag trend that’s circulating social media, there’s a storm brewing in the deaf world. Or amongst the thespians at least.

I say this because I’ve sensed for some time now a rising discontent when it comes to getting roles. Or – more to the point – at those bagging most of the roles.

You see, a few hearing performers I know of recently worked in sign language roles, and subsequently faced the wrath of the deaf community.

Regardless of whether they have deaf family or fluent signs, the general view from the deaf community has always been that roles with sign language should be given to deaf actors. Simple.

Well… Not really. The thing is casting directors – more often than not – will ask to see actors ‘with sign language.’ This loophole means that they don’t have to be deaf, they merely need…

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