Frequently Asked Questions
#DeafinMedia is about changing Deaf representation in the media for the better. Too often, we see damaging representations of Deaf people across various types of media; TV, movies, books, journalism, video games, and more.
When Deaf people are represented inauthentically, that’s not just unpleasant – it has serious, real-world implications. If a hearing person has learned from repeated representations of Deaf people in movies and TV that lipreading is slightly inconvenient but generally accurate, what happens when that hearing person receives a request for an ASL interpreter from a Deaf person? If a hearing person has learned from repeated representations of Deaf people in books and journalism that we are sad, pitiful, less-than, what does that mean when they encounter us? And especially, what happens if a Deaf child grows up without seeing themselves represented authentically on the screen and on the page?
Authentic representation is at the center of an equitable world. #DeafinMedia works to advance authentic representation and change inauthentic representation, though both community activism and constructive partnerships.
Lots of places! You’ve found one already; if you’re reading this, you’re on our website, www.deafinmedia.com. We will update our website frequently, responding to events and news as it happens, as well as doing deeper dives into various topics related to authentic Deaf representation.
#DeafinMedia has that hashtag right in the name for a reason, though – we are a place, but we are also a conversation. We are especially active on Twitter, but you can also find us on Facebook and Instagram.
Have you seen some really awful Deaf representation? Let us know! Did you see something great? We want to know about that, too!
If you tag absolutely anything with #DeafinMedia we will see it, but we have a bunch of other, more-specific hashtags as well. Follow us on Twitter to learn more… and to join the conversation!
You are really the center of #DeafinMedia. We look to the community to bring pressure to bear on media companies when they make bad decisions, to bring things to our attention (positive and negative) so that we can take further action, and to go ahead and get things started yourselves! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and especially Twitter to make sure that you’re part of the conversation. Not a big fan of social media? You can also send us an email anytime.
That’s a small part of what we are doing, but only a small part. When we do address this, our focus is that hearing actors generally have a much harder time contributing to authentic representation than a skilled Deaf actor would.
However, our main focus is on whether Deaf representation is authentic, across all media. This includes books (fiction and nonfiction), video games, journalism (newspapers and magazines), social media, comic books, and more! We are not about putting Deaf in media as much as we are about analyzing the current representation of Deaf in media, and doing what we can to change that representation for the better!
We want to give both media creators and their audiences the tools to effect positive change.
We know that there are media creators who don’t yet know a lot about Deaf culture, but really want to do the right thing. We are here for you!
And we also know that there are many, many people who can recognize inauthentic representation and who would like to do something about that when you see it. We want to focus the power of the crowd to effect change, whether centralizing items under a certain hashtag, putting it all together into a blog post that can be widely shared, or just supporting efforts by the community.
We are also working to center perspectives of Deaf reviewers and critics, as they examine issues of both representation and access.
Our team is deeply,
bananaly split about this. In one corner, there is a perception that chocolate is a beautiful thing, obviously superior to vanilla. (Which of those two flavors is a synonym for “boring”? That.) In the other corner, a strong case is made that vanilla can be an excellent base for any flavor you can think of. Add strawberries, add caramel sauce, add brownie bits, it’s all good. Except for maybe, like, anchovies.
Download our Ten Tips Media Toolkit here! This short guide provides information about how to be accurate and authentic in your representation of deaf people in the media. This entry-level guide may be used across many types of media. If you don’t see your specific question answered here, always feel free to contact us.