Marlee Matlin gained worldwide fame for he Academy Award-winning work on Children of a Lesser God. to this date she is the only deaf performer to have won an Academy Award. She is also the youngest recipient of the Best Actress category as she was only 21 years old at the time.
She is also known for recurring roles in The West Wing, and Blue’s Clues, ER, The Practice, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
A strong advocate for the rights of deaf people, she only accept television roles if producers commit to caption the films. She has testified before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources in support of the establishment of the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders.
”I'm a proud person who happens to be deaf. I don't want to change it. I don't want to wake up and suddenly say, 'Oh my God, I can hear.' That's not my dream. It's not my dream. I've been raised deaf. I'm used to the way I am. I don't want to change it. Why would I ever want to change? Because I'm used to this, I'm happy.
”I hope I inspire people who hear. Hearing people have the ability to remove barriers that prevent deaf people from achieving their dreams.
”Often I’m talking to people through my speakerphone, and after 10 minutes or so they say, 'Wait a minute, Marlee, how can you hear me?' They forget I have an interpreter there who is signing to me as they talk. So I say, 'You know what? I can hear on Wednesdays