Switched At Birth, Part I of III

Switched At Birth, Part I of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved

Part I of III

Two teenagers discover that they were switched at birth while researching a school assignment. Genetic testing is completed when the students learn “blood types” and when the high school students learn that they do not match their family.

Marlee Matlin plays a basketball coach and guidance counselor in a deaf school.

She communicates through sign language and (some) voicing. Marlee was raised Big D (Deaf) using sign as her only communication. She did not speak until 1986 when she appeared in “Children Of A Lesser God.”

I remember when Marlee made the choice to learn to speak. I stayed “quiet” during all Deaf/sign interpreter conversations as I watched from my “hearing” chair within the Deaf community where I have been embraced.

I have also CARTed many heated discussions to large screens about her choice – many heated discussions by Deaf and from sign interpreters.

Marlee’s TV character, Melody Bledsoe, has a deaf teen in the show.

One teen, actor Sean Berdy, is Deaf.

The character, Emmett, signs ASL, American Sign Language, speaks a little, and is expanding a relationship with a “hearing” teen.

When Emmett enrolls in “voice class” another (big) storyline is developed.

Sean is a role model within the Deaf community. Deaf blogs detail Sean’s “nuances” as Sean’s signs are unique to Sean. Blogs by deaf teens note that Sean’s “cool signs” display subtleties that voicing cannot share. (Long ago, I learned that sign language is able to communicate “much more than just words.”)

One teen, actress Katie Leclerc, has Meniere’s (inner ear disease) and speaks as Daphne Vasquez. Many Deaf and HOH, Hard of Hearing, individuals live with Meniere’s. This teen makes choices in her role as Daphne that are unique to her character.

One parent left a wife and small child when he had a DNA test, which confirmed the daughter was not his – long before the high school blood type assignment.

Have I piqued your interest yet?

Switched At Birth began as a one-hour show. It was such a success that ABCFM, ABC Family network, expanded the show to 22 episodes, August 1, 2011. The show continues to develop with storylines and character development that is rich and very true to the nuances within each culture – deaf, hard-of-hearing, oral deaf, and hearing choices.

If you desire to step into the Little D (typically sign language and mainstreamed with some voicing) and Big D (typically sign language and no voicing) culture, this is a wonderful opportunity.

The show has hit sensitive areas. I admire their truths.

Switched At Birth does not duck sensitive areas and episodes are powerful.

Deaf blogs discuss why Deaf actors are “voicing” words.

They write that if Deaf individuals were signing, their voice (“voice-box” is the term used by Deaf and interpreters) “would be off” (turned off), and no one would hear.

They ask: “Why do Deaf actors need to sign and voice? We don’t.”

Open captions in large white font are displayed when signs are used within scenes where words are not spoken. Yes, the show is closed captioned.

Part I of III is posted October 6, 2014, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part II of III is posted October 17, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Part III of III is posted October 28, 2014, Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com and www.CRRbooks.com

Monette, the Court Reporting Whisperer, may be reached: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal

Tutor, Motivational Management & Career Coach,
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting and CART Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist

Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com

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About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART Captioner, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART Captioners, students, and instructors.

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