Through Deaf Eyes

Through Deaf Eyes is a PBS documentary based upon the challenging effects by first person accounts and perspectives of how different peoples' live are because they have no ability to hear. The time frame is from the nineteenth century to present day, which is two hundred years. There are six short documentaries within the documentary produced by deaf media artists and filmmakers that draw upon their own lives. There are even more interviews with the community leaders, historians, and other deaf Americans. The stories from the deaf tell about the conflicts they came face to face with during their daily lives involving family life, education, work life, and being a fellow citizen doing community work. Also, the documentary includes prejudice and affirmation that pour into the heart and show what it truly means to be human and not being able to hear.

Although the people have their own personal reflections of the deaf world, the documentary also represents how the deaf dealt and grew to have made the world an easier place for the deaf to live in. These key events include the creation of hearing impairment schools , the campaign to establish the deaf telephone known as the TTY, the peoples' the iffy stance over ASL (also known as American Sign Language), being able to lip read, and the election of a deaf president at Gallaudet University. Creating the American Sign Language was very significant because humans are very social and can interact through words, sounds, and gestures.

The character and philosophy of the early schools were fundamentally shaped by the larger cultural context of the time and were created by three men who had personal contact with being deaf, whether it was someone close to them or it was themselves. In the schools, the students slept in in common dormitory rooms, ate at the common tables, attended classes, learned about the world, and grew up together even though they came from scattered farms and small towns. The students in these schools learned the same things as people who weren't deaf.

Although Through Deaf Eyes doesn't talk about hearing impairment from the perspective of being able to cure the deafness, it doesn't deny the reality of being hearing impaired.

1 Season, 1 Episode
March 21, 2007
Documentary & Biography
Cast: Linda Gabriel, Stockard Channing, Ed Chevy, Rita Corey
Through Deaf Eyes

Through Deaf Eyes Full Episode Guide

  • The history of deaf culture in America from the 19th century to the present day is chronicled. Interviews with community leaders, actress Marlee Matlin and other deaf Americans provide an up-front and diverse perspective of this segment of society. Short films created by deaf artists are interspersed throughout the program.

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