The writer of "The Silent Child" drew attention to the overlooked needs of the deaf community.
After the Oscar nominations were released, Rachel Shenton, writer of the Oscar winning film The Silent Child, made her leading actress, 6-year-old Maisie Sly, a promise: if their film won, she would sign her acceptance speech on live television. She followed through, and many in the deaf community are now celebrating her decision.
Her speech, signed in British Sign Language (BSL), was praised by actress Marlee Matlin, who tweeted out her support for sign language at the Oscar’s:
Shenton’s choice to sign her speech was not merely an act of sentiment, though. Her speech touched on the main themes of the film which draw attention to the obstacles and barriers faced by deaf children every day.
As Shenton comments, deafness is an invisible and non-life-threatening disability; consequently, it is often overlooked, leaving many children isolated from the rest of the world. She says, “Our movie is about a deaf child being born into a world of silence… millions of children all over the world live in silence and face communication barriers, and particularly access to education.”
You can watch the entire speech in the video above.