Skip to content Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Persons



Seattle Seahawks Derrick Coleman may be sidelined because of injury this Super Bowl Sunday, but the first deaf offensive player in the NFL is still a champ on and off the field.

If someone says you can’t achieve your dreams, Seattle Seahawks Derrick Coleman’s advice is just don’t listen to them. That’s what he’s done his entire life. Deaf since he was three years old, the 24-year-old fullback was told he would never make it to the pros, but if you’ve ever watched Coleman play football or seen his viral Duracell commercial from last year, you’ll know being told “you can’t” never stopped him.

The sports world loves an underdog story and Coleman’s journey to the NFL is among the most inspiring in recent years. As a kid, he was called “Four Ears” because of his hearing aids and he was beat up just for being different. The challenges young Derrick faced made his supportive parents worry about how he would make his way in the world, but then in the 6th grade he found football and it changed his life.

Read More / Watch Videos
(Two Videos 1st Not Captioned, 2nd Captioned)



The Daily - University of Washington
By Chris Kaperak
January 21, 2015


CenturyLink Field erupted with ear-splitting cheers, jumping, and wild celebrations Sunday after the Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers, earning them a spot in Superbowl XLIX. Fans left the game with their ears ringing, a souvenir of the crowd’s roar. Meanwhile, UW researchers watched as their monitors showed evidence of yet another quake generated by the 12th Man.

Marshawn Lynch’s run in 2011, Kam Chancellor’s interception return against Carolina, and an improbable victory over the Packers, all resulted in small earthquakes, detected by standard earthquake sensors. 

Before the Seahawks’ game against the Panthers on Jan. 10, sensors were placed in three locations in CenturyLink Field. The sensors fed data to an online application called “QuickShake,” which displays seismic activity in real time to the public as measured by sensors operated by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN).

The team of researchers from the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, led by Emeritus Research Professor Steve Malone and Professor John Vidale, became interested in monitoring CenturyLink for seismic activity after the aforementioned Lynch run.

“You can’t predict earthquakes, but you can predict when Seahawks fans will jump up and down,” Malone said.  . . . . . . . . READ More >>

Stadium noise dangerous to fans 

As previously mentioned, Seahawk fans are notorious for the incredible sound waves they can generate. While a cause of pride for many, the intense sound produced during a Seahawks’ home game concerns Kelly Tremblay, a professor of speech and hearing sciences at the UW.

A normal range for stadium noise is about 95-110 decibels, or similar to being near a gas mower up to being at a rock concert, neither of which are safe to be exposed to for the length of a football game. Recently, the Seahawks’ fans reclaimed the stadium noise record at a eardrum-pounding 137.6 decibels, louder than standing near a military jet taking-off.

This is loud enough to immediately cause permanent ear damage and hearing loss, along with tinnitus, or that ringing sound heard after a loud noise.  . . . . . . . . READ More >>

Derrick Coleman’s 2014 season is over after the Seattle Seahawks placed the 24-year-old on injured reserve Saturday.

The third-year player out of UCLA was the team’s lone fullback for the first five games of the season, but broke a bone in his foot during pregame warmups last Sunday in St. Louis. Running back Robert Turbin will replace him in the lineup Sunday on the road against the Carolina Panthers after being pressed into action against the Rams.

Deaf since the age of 3, Coleman gained notoriety as the NFL’s first legally deaf offensive player, winning the Hawks’ starting fullback position last year. In January, he starred in an ad for Duracell batteries that highlighted the struggles he overcame to make it to the NFL.

A solid special teams contributor, Coleman has become a role model for the deaf community, and gave away Super Bowl tickets to two young hearing-impaired fans who wrote to him last season.

Third-year wide receiver Phil Bates will replace Coleman on the Hawks’ 53-man roster after he was signed from the Seattle’s practice squad. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound 25-year-old has spent much of the last two seasons on the team’s practice squad after going undrafted out of Ohio University in 2012.

Original Article



(1090 The Fan) – Adham Talaat of Gallaudet University has been invited to join the Seahawks’ rookie training camp. Should he make the team in 2014, he would be Seattle’s second deaf player.

 Like Derrick Coleman, the 23-year-old is hard of hearing. But the athletic  abilities of the six-and-half-foot, 275-pound defensive end are astonishing.

Talaat runs a 4.9-second 40 and benched 225 pounds 23 times at his school’s Pro Day, according to CBS Sports – two more than Jadevon Clowney. His strength and speed contributed to him being one of Gallaudet University’s leaders in sacks in 2013.

Talaat experienced hearing loss when he was just 18-months old, but that hasn’t stopped him from  working to fulfill his NFL dreams. Talaat himself doesn’t see his deafness as a barrier.

“I don’t view my hearing loss as any detriment or hindrance at all. I actually feel that it is an advantage for me,” Talaat said in an email to The Associated Press. “Crowd noise and trash talk does not faze me. An important point to consider is that NFL stadiums are loud. Players can’t always hear each other, so they use signals or signs on the sidelines, which is non-verbal communication. That happens to be my specialty.”

The Seahawks’ rookie training camp kicks off Thursday, May 15th.

Stacy Rost, 1090 The Fan

Want more local sports news? Follow 1090 The Fan on Twitter!


Girl with Hearing Loss Writes to Derrick Coleman

A young girl who wears two hearing aids sent a letter to Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman, who wears a hearing aid and was recently featured in a wonderful commercial.

To read the letter from the girl and response from Derrick Coleman:

To see the inspiring commercial:


Seahawks’ Derrick Coleman makes his mark despite hearing disability

By Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, 8/15/2013

Derrick Coleman
John Lok / The Seattle Times

Derrick Coleman scores on a 6-yard reception last Thursday during the Seahawks’ opening

RENTON — If you meet Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman and he doesn’t initially look you in the eye, take no offense.

Coleman, you see, is essentially deaf, having been able to hear only sounds and tones since age three. That’s when his hearing mysteriously began to disappear.

“It just kind of went away,’’ Coleman said. “We don’t really know why.”

But hearing aids and an uncanny ability to read lips — he’s trained himself to look there first — have allowed Coleman to adapt to the point that many who know him forget he’s deaf, and many who meet him don’t realize it unless they are told.

“He finds a way and he’s very resourceful,’’ said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “It has not been an issue at all.”

Coleman, in fact, has been one of the team’s steadiest players throughout training camp, scoring a touchdown on a 6-yard pass in Seattle’s 31-10 win over the Chargers last Thursday and also leading the team with two tackles on special teams.

“He’s already shown us he’s one of the most dependable special teams guys,’’ Carroll said. “He’s shown us that he can play for us.”

That’s no guarantee of making the final 53-man roster for what is regarded as being one of the most talent-laden teams in the NFL, of course.

But if Coleman doesn’t make it, it won’t be because of his hearing issues.

“I don’t ever use it as an excuse,’’ he said.

Coleman even says he thinks it gives him an edge when stadiums get especially raucous and players have to rely on hand signals and other non-verbal methods of communication.

“When it gets loud I feel like I have the advantage,” he said. “I can tune that out.”

Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030;; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC.  This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.