The Silent Network began in December of 1979 as the world’s only cable TV network for deaf, hard of hearing and hearing audiences. All of the programming was produced in sign language, subtitles and full sound. It was the brainchild of Kathleen Gold, mother of the actress, Julianne Gold, one of the stars of the Broadway production of “Children of a Lesser God,” and Sheldon I. Altfeld, an Emmy Award-winning writer, producer & director. Over the 2 decades the network was on the air, it produced more than 3,000 programs, employed nearly 100 deaf people in a variety of capacities, and evolved from 2 million cable homes at its start to more than 17 million homes when the network shut down in 2000. The photos on this page represent a thumbnail of activity that took place during the Network’s run on cable and serves as a “behind-the-scenes” snapshot of production in progress.
Click the photos to find out more.