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Barney: Deaf teens find relatable characters in TV drama 'Switched at Birth'

by Chuck Barney
summarized by Hannah F. Mann, staff writer

Students from the California School for the Deaf in Fremont are flocking to ABC’s “Switched at Birth,” a new TV series about two girls, one deaf and one hearing, who ended up with completely different families through an hospital error. The show also features at least two other deaf characters, played by Sean Berdy and Marlee Matlin. “Switched at Birth’s” portrayal of deaf characters and deaf-related issues has garnered nationwide approval and interest, especially from deaf viewers; young people, in particular, are enthralled to see people like themselves featured as characters in their own right, rather than as a novelty or a “charity case.” The show has also prompted countless hearing viewers to learn American Sign Language, become interpreters, or otherwise pursue an interest in the deaf community.

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