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ABC’s “Switched at Birth,” is a show that many of us know as two girls who discover that they were switched at birth (hence the show’s title). Actress Katie Leclerc, portrays Daphne one of the show’s main characters who is deaf. Consequently, throughout the show, viewers are given insight on deaf culture.

Here are a few of the many interesting topics that “Switched at Birth” has helped shed light on regarding deaf culture:

1. Sign Language is NOT universal
On “Switched at Birth,” there’s an episode where Daphne encounters a deaf person who communicates in Mexican Sign Language. Just as every country has its own spoken language, each country has its own unique sign language.

Read more  . . . “Switched at Birth” 


From Chris on Switched at Birth web page


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In an ALL NEW episode of ABC Family's award-winning original series Switched at Birth, told entirely in American Sign Language (ASL), the students at Carlton School for the Deaf protest to keep their school open. The ground-breaking episode, a first for a scripted series on mainstream television, will air Monday, March 4 at 8/7c. The special episode, will be told from the perspective of the series' multiple deaf characters -- with open captions for hearing viewers.
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. Meanwhile, as one of a handful of hearing students in the school, Bay’s attempt to be part of the campaign is challenged. The storyline was inspired by the real-life “Deaf President Now” protests at Gallaudet University that took place 25 years ago this March.

The story will put us in the middle of a student uprising in which the very essence of the characters’ deaf identity is at stake. "I've been wanting to do an all-ASL episode since the series began, and the storyline we've been focusing on this season gave us the perfect opportunity,” said series creator and Executive Producer Lizzy Weiss. “It's an exciting, visual, empowering story of kids, who are different, fighting back, and it allows our audience to experience the world as our deaf characters do. We've been building to this for 39 episodes, and we're all thrilled to be the first to try this.”

To learn more about the all-ASL episode, watch this video! 

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