But when Katie Leclerc says “America needs a show” like her ABC Family series, “Switched at Birth,” I’m inclined to agree.
Leclerc stars as Daphne, a young woman who, yes, was switched at birth, but, more germane to this story, is deaf. She uses sign language and speaks with a “deaf accent.” Daphne is far from the “Friends”-perfect characters we see on most TV shows.
“I think that it a surprise for most people to hear that American Sign Language is the third most common language in the United States,” Leclerc says in a phone interview. “It goes English, Spanish, ASL. If you are familiar with the deaf culture, and you’re integrated into the deaf world, it’s not a surprise, because there’s so many deaf people in this country. But the world’s are so separate that if you don’t know somebody who’s deaf, if you’re not involved in that culture, it’s kind of hard to break through. And I think that ‘Switched at Birth’ is a little bit of a window where a hearing member can look through this window – can peek through this window – and say, ‘Oh, check out the deaf culture.’ ‘Oh, there’s really no difference.’ There’s really not.
And while Katie had words of wisdom for other kids with hearing loss, she urged all kids to heed her advice. “It’s really important to be active in your community, whatever community that is. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing then that means going to one of the deaf meet up nights at the local coffee shop. If that mean you have other struggles, whatever it is if you’re being bullied, find allies and find people who you relate to and who make you stronger as a group. You just need to actively be a part of your community… Do whatever you can and try to leave a mark for the best.”
Katie is going to be a guest on “On The Red Carpet” This week – it airs in some locations check HERE to find where to watch.
ABC Family has ordered additional episodes of the Gilmore Girls creator’s ballerina tale Bunheads. Additionally, the cabler has renewed Melissa & Joey, Switched at Birth and Baby Daddy, while Jane By Design has been given the ax.
The Bunheads extension (which is rumored to be around eight episodes) ensures that Monday’s episode will be a summer and not a series finale. The Sutton Foster-Kelly Bishop dramedy is expected to resume production in October and return on air in early ’13. Melissa & Joey will be heading into its third season, while Switched at Birth and Baby Daddy will both be entering Season 2. (The second half of SaB‘s rookie season bows Sept. 3; Baby Daddy and Melissa & Joey wrap Season 1 and Season 2, respectively, on Aug. 29.)
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