Katie Leclerc and Switched at Birth Put Sign Language Front and CenterABC Family is set to air an episode of Switched at Birth that will mark the first time a scripted series has been broadcast entirely in American Sign Language (ASL). The March 4th episode airing at 8pm will also feature a ASL-only commercial starring Switched at Birth‘s Katie Leclerc.
Leclerc, who learned ASL at the age of 17, suffers from Meniere’s disease – a genetic inner ear disorder. And she’s just been named the new face – or ‘hands’ – of Purple Communications, “a leading provider of video relay service (VRS) and interpreting services for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.”
“We’re delighted to be working with Katie as Purple enters the next generation in delivering communications services to people who are deaf, as well as those who interact with them on the telephone,” said Purple Communications CEO and President John Ferron. “We thought the innovation of an all-ASL episode of Switched at Birth – never done before on TV – was the perfect venue to announce our partnership with Katie and reflects the innovative spirit of Purple’s new revolutionary products and services in 2013.”
“I am excited to work with Purple and provide a bridge between the hearing and non-hearing worlds. Communications access for all is a philosophy I share with Purple and dramatize on screen through my work on Switched at Birth,” said Leclerc, adding, “Being able to communicate is a right that I believe everyone should enjoy, which is why I am excited to educate both hearing and deaf communities about Purple’s products and services. Purple brings the two communities together using technology as an equalizer. I look forward to working together with them to ensure that equal communications access is readily available for the more than 36 million deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans, as well as their families, friends and colleagues.”
Source: Purple Communications
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