Tomorrow marks the first day of Deaf Awareness Month. According to quick statistics, "Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing." As a community we have failed to shine a light on the needed representation within the deaf community and are excited to start to annually celebrate the achievements of those who are hard of hearing.
For this weeks #SICRealLife we are starting off the celebration of this month by celebrating Oscar Winner for her role in CODA, Marlee Martin.
Marlee Matlin lost much of her hearing as a fetus, managing to comprehend life through her disability from a very young age. Being hard of hearing never held her back from pursuing her life as an entertainer. She started off in theatre and also studied studied criminal justice at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois.
"I have always resisted putting limitations on myself, both professionally and personally."
- Marlee Matlin
Just a few days ago while social media was exploding in comments on all the historic and captivating events that took place at the 2022 OSCARS, Marlee Matlin stood by her co-star as he won best supporting actor, being the second deaf actor ever to do so. Marlee Matlin being the first back in the 1980s.
Troy Kotsur won best supporting actor for his role in the movie 'CODA'. "CODA is a tender, coming-of-age tale about the only hearing member in a deaf family that became a crowd-pleaser and earned widespread critical acclaim to become the first film with a largely deaf cast to win best picture." -CTV
Marlee Matin has set a precedent in the entertainment industry for the importance of real representation, representing actors with disabilities to play characters with the same disabilities. Deaf actors and actors with other disabilities are not limited but rather contribute to the sense of connection between characters and the audience that films aim to portray.