‘Deafening’ challenges the viewer to experience the world through the eyes of four Deaf people with uniquely different lives. Through its carefully designed sensory landscape, it will challenge the audience to rethink their perception and understanding of sound.
RTÉ News & Weather presenter Sarah Jane Moloney O’Regan is about to become a first-time mum of twins. Sarah Jane loves being Deaf but despite this, she worries about what her twins will go through if they’re born Deaf and have to face the same barriers she had to work so hard to overcome.
Deaf siblings, Jade and Matthew Visser were born in South Africa and moved to Waterford aged 4 and 5. They both have Cochlear Implants and put their perfect speech down to the daily speech therapy they received in South Africa after their operation. Now 12 and 14, they share their concerns about fitting into a mainstream school, the challenges of making friends and how sparring deaf in Taekwon-do puts them at a distinct advantage.
Seán Herlihy is a teacher at a Deaf school in Dublin, but is originally from the West Cork Gaeltacht, where his Irish-speaking parents had to switch to English when three of their four children were born Deaf. Seán believes his Deafness is a gift that allows him to travel the world without language barriers. He’s been to 81 countries and in any corner of the globe he can meet another Deaf person and communicate fluently in sign language. In his view, its hearing people who are at a disadvantage when it comes to travel.
‘Deafening’ is an audiovisual feast that weaves seamlessly between speech, sign language and visual communication and represents a first for Irish television.
‘Deafening’ was produced by Mind the Gap Films and will be broadcast on RTÉ One on Thursday March 2ndat 10:15 pm.
Producer: Anne Heffernan, Director: Garry Keane, DOP: Michael O’Donovan
A big thanks to MOS Photography for the stunning photographs of Sarah Jane and her gorgeous family!