Deaf News: American series to air episode entirely in American Sign Language

Posted on January 21, 2013

We haven’t seen it over here in the UK, but in America a series starring Oscar-winning American actress Marlee Matlin and featuring a host of other continuing Deaf characters has been an award-winning hit.

Switched at Birth, which airs on the channel ABC Family, is about two baby girls who are switched in the hospital shortly after their mothers have given birth. When they are teenagers, the two daughters, one of whom has become deaf through meningitis, realise they are not being raised by their biological families.

Now, for the 40th episode of the series, producers are planning a first: an episode entirely in American Sign Language (ASL). Until now, most episodes have featured a mixture of spoken English and ASL, but this is the first time an episode will air with no dialogue at all.

There will be subtitles on the show – but for once, they are strictly for hearing viewers!

The ASL episode, which is part of its second season, will feature a student protest concerning the Deaf identity of the main characters. The series creator and executive producer, Lizzy Weiss, said: “We’ve been building to this for 39 episodes and we’re all thrilled to be the first to try this”.

The ASL only episode will air on 14th March. Any chance a UK channel will pick up the series? Let’s hope so.

For more about Switched at Birth, go to:

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Posted in: deaf news