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Through Deaf Eyes

“Through Deaf Eyes,” a two-hour HDTV documentary for PBS, explores nearly 200 years of Deaf life in America. The film presents the shared experiences of American history — family life, education, work, and community connections — from the perspective of deaf citizens. Narrated by actor Stockard Channing, the film includes interviews with former Gallaudet University president, Dr. I. King Jordan, and actors Marlee Matlin and Bernard Bragg, as well as historians and deaf Americans with diverse views on language use, technology and identity. The film presents the story of Deaf life in America — a story of conflicts, prejudice and affirmation that reaches the heart of what it means to be human. “Through Deaf Eyes” is produced by Emmy and Peabody award winner Larry Hott. The editor is Diane Garey. “Through Deaf Eyes” will be broadcast on Wednesday, March 21 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS stations nation-wide (check local listings).

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through deaf eyes 1

Children at St. Rita's School for the Deaf, Cincinnati, Ohio, sign the "Star Spangled Banner," 1918.

Credit: National Archives

through deaf eyes 2

Marlee Matlin, actress, shares a story about an interviewer's comment that revealed preconceived notions of what it means to be deaf. Here she is signing that everyone was ready for live broadcast.

Credit: Florentine Films/Hott Productions

through deaf eyes 3

These hands were carved in the 1940s at the Maryland School for the Deaf. Students worked on a letter to create the fingerspelled alphabet. Together, the four hands shown here spell "D E A F."

Credit: Florentine Films/Hott Productions

through deaf eyes 4

Student Patrick Dehahn from the Clarke School for the Deaf - Center for Oral Education is working with a classmate on wardrobe prior to a school play. He's telling the classmate that the tie is too loose.

Credit: Florentine Films/Hott Productions

through deaf eyes 5

Filmmaker Rene Visco contributed a clip from his film "Audism" to the "Through Deaf Eyes" production. In this segment, the question is being asked, "Can you read lips?"

Credit: Florentine Films/Hott Productions

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