Sunday, July 14, 2013

Not-So-Guilty Television Pleasure

For those of you who are not familiar with the after-school-special like plots of ABC Family shows, Switched at Birth is the story of two girls who were quite obviously switched at birth. A science project leads Bay Kennish (right) (who is April Nardini from Gilmore Girls) to a surprising conclusion. Her parents are not biologically her parents. [GG fans will remember that April found out that Luke was her dad through a science project as fact.] Bay and her parents arrange to meet the other girl...the girl who is really their daughter...and her family. Daphne Vasquez (left) and her mother live in the same area as the Kennishes, just on the lower-income side of town. Daphne is deaf due to a complication with meningitis when she was three. The two families unite and live on the Kennish property.

Thing #1: I like this show because I loved April from Gilmore Girls

Thing #2: I too have hearing loss and wear bright purple Phonak Naida hearing aids. I'm going to study Audiology when I go to graduate school. Katie LeClerc (actress who plays Daphne) suffers from Meniere's Disease which causes hearing loss. She feels very strongly about advocacy for the deaf and hard of hearing community. The show does follow the lives of the two girls and their families following being switched and reunited, but there is a great deal of deaf awareness that can be gleaned from the show.
Famous deaf actress Marlee Matlin plays the mother of one of Daphne's deaf friends. Matlin has proven to the world that deaf people can do absolutely anything they set their minds to, especially act.
This show is not only amazing for its silly dramatic content that is not violent or--thank god--about teen pregnancy or girls lying about things. It is quite accurate about deaf culture and inspiring.

I decided to become more involved in the deaf/hoh community. PS. If you want the politically correct term for someone with hearing loss- "hard of hearing." I joined the Hearing Loss Association of America and became completely inspired by Shanna Groves, author of "Confessions of a Lipreading Mom." Her #showmeyourears and #stophearinglossbullying campaigns have made incredible differences in the lives of many deaf/hoh.

One simple television show, that I NEVER miss an episode of, inspired at least one person to advocate for my deaf/hoh brothers and sisters who may not be as at peace with their hearing loss as I am.

Tune in ABC Family Mondays at 8/7c