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Television: Cultural Deaf Programming

  • By: Debbie B. Golos
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

While deaf characters have been portrayed on mainstream television since the 1950s, they were traditionally portrayed as being disabled, mentally ill, and/or needing to be fixed. During the 1950s and 1960s, deaf characters were rarely, if ever, portrayed from a culturally Deaf perspective through culturally Deaf programming. Programs that did include aspects of the Deaf community and sign language were quickly canceled. Over the years, there have been a handful of culturally Deaf television programs both in the United States and internationally. However, a majority of these programs, while they included deaf people, did not always respect input from deaf advisers as to what themes or topics to cover. Ultimately, decisions regarding content, filming, and producing of these types of programs were made by the ...

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