The United States is a culturally diverse nation. Over the past 30 years we have seen tremendous growth in the kinds and numbers of cultures as immigrants from many nations continue to seek freedom and opportunity in the U.S. However, there is one group of people with their own culture and language who have been here from the beginning – America’s deaf and hard of hearing community and has largely been ignored by visual mediums like television.
With more than 20 million people in this community, providing accessible information and entertainment has been a difficult challenge at best. Closed captioning does not provide the deaf and hard of hearing community with its own platform, it merely provides access to conventional television programming.
Now, as technology makes great strides, The Silent Network is poised to open the door to a whole new world of exciting programs produced in sign language, subtitles and full sound, and featuring some of the top deaf and hearing talent in the country. The Silent Network, with its 30 year history of providing award-winning programming to deaf and hard of hearing audiences, has embraced Over-The-Top TV (OTT) as the most logical way to reach its viewers. In addition, it has expanded its reach with its Facebook and Twitter pages, its viewer blogs and its user-generated program opportunities.
Sign language is the third most most used language in America. More and more individuals are taking sign language in schools and colleges now that it has been accepted as a “foreign” language for credit. With the expansion of videophones, mainstreamed classes in the educational arenas and other service centers, the need for interpreters and service individuals who know sign language has escalated. The Silent Network provides a window into the possibilities of interpreting as a career and plays an important part in helping people learn sign language or maintaining their sign language skills.
The Silent Network is operated by deaf television professionals who work with deaf and hard of hearing actors, producers and writers. It is a catalyst for change. The Silent Network is available for deaf people to voice their concerns, their opinions, their suggestions and their critiques on how to make their lives better in a hearing world.