Increased TV Exposure Makes the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing More Visible

Increased TV Exposure Makes the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing More Visible

Many deaf and hard-of-hearing people have welcomed the increased visibility that deafness and hearing loss have enjoyed on TV lately, The New York Times reports.

In the current season of “The Bachelor,” on ABC, Abigail Heringer is believed to be the first deaf contestant and cochlear-implant wearer on the show, and the actress Angel Theory, who is hard of hearing, now stars on “Kinderfänger” on Facebook Watch and plays Kelly, a character with hearing loss, on AMC’s “The Walking Dead”. Disney+ has a Hawkeye series in development that would feature a deaf Native American actress, Alaqua Cox, as Echo, a deaf Native American superhero.

Then there is “Deaf U,” which follows a group of students at Gallaudet University, the nation’s only liberal arts university devoted to deaf people, as they date, party, gossip and flirt. The show was praised for showing a diversity of experiences, including those of hearing-device users. But Gallaudet, which is in Washington, DC, as an institution emphasizes learning sign language and interacting with other people who are deaf and hard of hearing — and not all people with hearing loss have that experience.

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