Curated Story
Melissa Malzkuhn
Source: Ashoka

The right to sign: Deaf culture and language access

This article originally appeared on Medium

Last weekend, the Academy Awards lifted up Deaf creatives across the movie industry — from “Sound of Metal,” a film about a drummer who learns American Sign Language after losing his hearing, receiving two Oscars (nominated for six), to Deaf actress Marlee Matlin presenting an award in ASL. Movie fans can continue to see this excitement with the release this month of “Godzilla and Kong,” which also features a young Deaf character.

Films are just one touch point for the growing interest in (and curiosity about) Deaf culture and language, says Melissa Malzkuhn, founder and creative force behind Motion Light Lab that creates digital storybooks and literacy tools for Deaf children. This week in our news hour, Ashoka’s Kennedy Patlan connected with Melissa for reflections on the moment and game-changing projects coming up at the Lab. Here are a few highlights.

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How can hearing people support Deaf inclusion? Ask yourself: Who’s affected by this discussion or policy, and are they here at the table? And maybe learn two or three signs — that little bit of effort to connect makes a difference. And it’s fun! From Melissa: “Inclusion is a process… the world is really interesting, and human diversity is amazing.”