By: Purple Communications
Social media is buzzing right now with “Take Back Carlton,” a theme from Switched at Birth’s latest episode, “Uprising,” that aired on March 4 and focused on Deaf students forced by the school board to receive a mainstream public education.
“Uprising” was the first all-American Sign Language (ASL) episode in television history and inspired by the historical Deaf President Now (DPN) protests that occurred in 1988 at Gallaudet University.
The episode showed students staging a protest that included occupying the Carlton campus and refusing to leave. There were many similarities to the 1988 DPN protests, including an outpouring of support from the community. At the same time, there were many internal disagreements within the school, including what to do with hearing students in the pilot program, like Bay and Noah, who attend Carlton.
Bay confronted Daphne, telling her she wasn’t standing up for her family. Daphne’s response was, “You are making this personal. This is so much bigger than the two of us and I can’t believe you don’t know that by now.”
This scene shows how some Deaf people feel toward hearing people – that they may never fully comprehend what it means to be Deaf.
In addition to the protest, another memorable scene portrayed the confusion a Deaf person can experience when not being able to hear. In this scene, Daphne entered a house and set off the alarm. Daphne was puzzled why Bay and her family were running around the house, as she could not hear the alarm she set off.
We want to know what you thought of the episode! Do you think the students’ actions will save Carlton? Post a comment below and let us know!
P.S. – Did you see our commercial during the show, featuring Katie Leclerc – who plays Daphne on the show? Check it out: Purple Commercial with Katie Leclerc
By: Purple Communications
This Monday night, March 4th, there will be a special showing of Switched at Birth, the hit TV show on ABC Family (8:00 p.m. ET/PT). This will be the first all-American Sign Language (ASL) episode on regular television! The episode, titled “Uprising,” will have no spoken words other than a few words when the show starts and ends, and the ASL will be open-captioned for hearing viewers. Purple is very excited about this!
This season of Switched at Birth has been filled with a number of subplots, including Bay enrolling in a pilot program for hearing students to attend Carlton School for the Deaf. This is a story in its own, mainly because the school began cutting back on various extracurricular activities and the deaf students felt the hearing students were taking over the place that was once truly theirs. (You also can catch up with this season at the Switched at Birth episode guide - which has a couple of shows you can watch, and recaps of each episode!)
During last week’s show, “Tight Rope Walker,” the school board decided to shut down Carlton. This was done in spite of claims by the deaf characters on the show about a new track being built and a new football coach being hired at other colleges, an attempt at showing the school board they were neglecting the needs of Carlton students because they were deaf.
A blog post on the Switched at Birth website provides a summary of the upcoming all-ASL episode: “When news of the school’s closing spreads throughout campus, Daphne leads the students of Carlton School for the Deaf in arranging a demonstration to take place on the eve of the Romeo and Juliet play, in which Daphne has the lead role.”
(blog quote cont.) “Meanwhile, as one of a handful of hearing students in the school, Bay’s attempt to be part of the protest is challenged. This storyline was inspired by the real-life “Deaf President Now” protests at Gallaudet University that took place 25 years ago this month.”
Join us in watching this first-ever all ASL episode of Switched at Birth and see a BIG Purple surprise on TV! Contact your local Purple District Manager for information about viewing parties in your area (http://purple.us/local) You are welcome to join us for some snacks and to enjoy this exciting episode together!
By: Purple Communications
Did you know that there is a national organization of the Deaf that is a powerful advocate for rights for the Deaf? This organization is called the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). Visit their site, it is a wonderful Deaf Awareness resource.
Fun deaf trivia #1: Who was the first deaf person to write a book of any kind? (answer at end)
Speaking of NAD, did you know that a few years ago, Purple worked with the NAD to sponsor Oscar-winning actress, Marlee Matlin on a trip to Capitol Hill to advocate for Deaf civil rights? Watch Purple VP of Regulatory & Strategic Policy Kelby Brick talk about this on video.
Here’s NAD’s recap of Marlee’s trip (which includes a video and transcript of her testimony on the Hill).
Fun deaf trivia #2: Who was the first Black Deaf person to earn a bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet? (answer at end)
While we are on the topic of advocacy – you probably already know that Purple’s HQ is in the Sacramento, CA area. We really appreciate all that NorCal does for Deaf Awareness in this area. NorCal is similar to NAD, but they work on a more local basis in the area, and also provide some direct services such as community interpreting, job placement, and peer counseling, etc. Click here to learn more about NorCal and their services.
Fun fact about Purple #1: Did you know that Purple was first to use real phone numbers for VPs!
Fun fact about Purple #2: Did you know that Purple was the first to have VRS on Macs?
Fun deaf trivia answer #1: The first deaf person to write a book was Pierre Desloges in 1779, he advocated for sign language in deaf education.
Fun deaf trivia answer #2: The first Black Deaf person to graduate from Gallaudet was Andrew Foster in 1954 – with a degree in Education. He went on to found many schools for the deaf in Africa.