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Rose Ayling-Ellis wins Strictly

We have to congratulate Rose and Giovanni on their well-deserved win on Strictly 2021!  Rose has used the platform to bring awareness to the deaf community, British Sign Language (BSL), and also highlight their struggles.  

She has given the deaf community the confidence to try new things and to celebrate their deafness, in particular deaf children and young people.  Check out her first major interview of 2022 here with The Big Issue for more on how she’s also supporting the BSL Act Now campaign to support the BSL Act through its second reading in parliament on 28th January too.

At terptree we are excited to see her legacy and “Rose Effect” throughout 2022!  

Deafinitely Theatre

A series of short films directed by Paula Garfield showing deaf life during the pandemic. 


The release of CODA, staring Marlee Matlin, at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival marked a watershed moment, after years of the unrepresentative portrayal of deaf people in film.  

After winning numerous awards at The Sundance Film Festival – At Sundance, CODA won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize, U.S. Dramatic Audience Award, and a Special Jury Ensemble Cast Award. The film’s director Sian Heder won Best Director in the U.S. Dramatic section.  It has gone on to receive critical acclaim and nominations at the Golden Globe Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Deaf representation in TV and Film

2021 saw a huge increase in the representation of deaf and hard-of-hearing characters in film and TV including Millicent Simmonnds in “A Quiet Place Part II”, Lauren Ridloff in “Eternals” on Disney+, Stephen Collins staring in the “Dune” movie and Jamal Ajala in “The Witcher”.  We also saw representation in the new Sex in the City spin-off, “And Just Like That” and the character of Steve having developed a hearing-loss and wearing a hearing aid, as well as the Marvel series “Hawkeye” on Disney+.  It’s an exciting time to be a Deaf or hard-of-hearing actor or actress at the moment, and long may it continue. 

Deaf Detroit Rapper

History was made at the 2022 Super Bowl half-time show when Deaf Rappers Wawa and Sean Forbes featured with Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J Blige. 

They performed sign language interpretations of the headliners music.  

An amazing opportunity to give deaf performers and ASL such a global platform!.

First Deaf man to win SAG Award and to be nominated for an Oscar for the film "Coda"

Troy Kotsur has won the SAG Award for Best Actor and put’s him on the favourites list for the Best Actor Oscar in March.  This is a historical moment and shows amazing support from Apple for deaf actors.  Check out his acceptance speech.  

Troy Kotsur Wins Best Supporting Actor Oscar for CODA

Kotsur won the Oscar at the 94th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, and is only the second deaf actor to win an Oscar, the first being Marlee Matlin’s best actress award for Children of a Lessor God in 1987.  “This is amazing to be here on this journey” he said to a standing ovation applauding in ASL.  “I cannot believe I’m here”.

The Simpsons runs an episode with the First Deaf Voice Actor and use of American Sign Language

Deaf actor, John Autry II was hired and his voice featured in The Simpsons, with a storyline based around the late saxophonist Bleeding Gums Murphy.

In this episode in April 2022, Lisa discovers that her favourite musician had a deaf son.

Autry said of the episode “It’s life-changing equality and participation.  This can impact change for all of us.  It’s about hard of hearing and hearing characters coming together.  Its a part of history”.

The Simpsons featuring Amerian Sign Language

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