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A born and raised Southern Belle, Rebecca is currently studying at Presbyterian College looking to pursue a career in broadcast journalism as a reporter. An avid blogger, she works with the online newspaper The Hudsucker. She also is a part-time Social Media Marketing Consultant. Rebecca is a proud member of Sigma Sigma Sigma who's philanthropy serves children. Rebecca also has the distinct privilege of working with Sounds of Pertussis where she campaigns about the awareness of Pertussis and it's prevention by the Adult Tdap booster. This honor is done in loving member of her cousin, Landon Carter Dube, who's life was taken too soon from this disease. Rebecca loves her Lord Jesus Christ and enjoys pursuing her passion for telling people's stories!

Appreciation For ASL

When I hear the word deaf, my mind immediately goes to Helen Keller. The blind and deaf young woman who defeated all odds and became a well-rounded, educated young woman. She was the  prime example of persevering, despite obstacles life throws your way. A ground-breaking television drama premiered on ABC that highlights the deaf culture and language.

American Sign Language (ASL), was invented by Thomas Hopkins Guallaudet in 1817. This language gave people access to communication with others and opened doors for opportunities. In the ABC Family television drama Switched at Birth, we see a family dropped into the deaf culture. The plot line follows two teenage girls, Daphne Vasquez and Bay Kennish, who discover they were switched at birth. During the course of the first season, we see the two girls’ families attempt to live together, so they get to know each other.

Here is where I admire this drama. They take a stab at the lack of knowledge for many “hearing” people and the deaf culture. It shines a light on the appreciation of the uniqueness of ASL, and how it is its own language and culture. Daphne’s biological family do not meet her half way in the beginning of the season. They forget she cannot hear what they say, and seem to almost want to place her in a bubble. This stereotype is shattered by the show, as we see deaf Daphne and her peers not only succeed, but soar with any dreams they possess.

Daphne’s best guy friend, Emmett, is deaf. Yet he is a passionate and talented drummer, who gets a position in a band. He also drives his motorcycle around Kansas City, although Daphne’s biological parents do not see how he can do this in the beginning.

Image Credit: ABC Family

There is a beautiful transformation within the family throughout the first season, and especially into the second season. The entire family begins to learn sign language. Bay begins to date Emmett, and Daphne is able to better communicate with her biological family.

This is the great message that Switched at Birth portrays: an appreciation of ASL and the deaf community.

This drama demonstrates that the handicaps do not stop people who are passionate. Those that are deaf can conquer anything they set their mind too. In fact, they probably achieve more because they may have to work harder for what  they  want; making that ending success all that much sweeter.

This is a remarkable show to have out in a world where there is a lot of trash TV.

I look forward to seeing where this show goes, and will continue to root for it’s success.

Switched at Birth will air their first ever all-ASL episode on March 4 at 8:00PM ET/PT. Check your local listings.

For more information on the ABC Family show, check out Switched at Birth; and Lifeprint, an American Sign Language resource site.


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