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How my hearing loss inspired a career in entertainment

hearing loss inspired hearing loss inspired a career in entertainment
I’ve previously talked about my experiences working in the entertainment industry, but I thought I’d share more about why I chose this particular field.

My hearing loss actually inspired a career in entertainment.

The Captivating World of TV and Film

The world of TV and film has always been incredibly captivating to me. The visual elements make you feel as if you’re part of another universe. For a brief period in time, you are a part of someone else’s life and someone else’s problems while the real world is on a momentary pause.

There’s a glamour that surrounds the entertainment industry. I think secretly, on some level, I thought that if I could just become rich and famous, my insecurities related to my hearing loss would disintegrate. Obviously, that’s not a logical solution. The truth is that I loved the idea of creating something that could help others escape from their realities. I turned to TV and film so many times when I didn’t want to face my own issues. In a way, it gave me a perspective that allowed me to feel “normal.”

Read more: My experience working with hearing loss in the entertainment industry

Lack of Deaf Representation

While I had moments of forgetting about my hearing loss when watching TV (thanks to extra loud volume and closed captions), I also longed to see someone like me on screen. There was little to no deaf representation in my regular programming. The industry prides itself on representing all people and situations, yet I feel like the stories surrounding the vast variety of “disabled” individuals are lacking. And in my opinion, those are stories worth telling.

My vision was being the person that told those stories. I wanted to create a show or movie that let other deaf people feel heard and known. To be part of the team that made the younger me want to watch TV because her reality did not need an escape but a supporting parallel.

“I wanted to create the show or movie that let other deaf people feel heard and known.”

A Platform to Educate

I was driven by the fact that I desired to work in a space that has a powerful platform to educate and inform others. For all of these reasons, my hearing loss inspired me to pursue a career in entertainment. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience and not the glamour we all have it made out to be. In so many ways, it shaped and tested me as a deaf individual. It forced me to be more outspoken with my colleagues about my hearing loss and ultimately helped me realize my bigger picture and purpose.

While I don’t work directly in the industry anymore, I still have a passion for the industry and what it can give a deaf individual. I’m grateful to be living in a time where #deaftalent on screen is becoming more prominent, and I still dream of one day creating a show or film that focuses on the lives of deaf individuals.

Read more: 2019 #DeafTalent Highlights

Author Details
Ashley is a 29-year-old who loves to travel and try new things. She has bi-lateral, severe hearing loss, and wears a Phonak Naída V-SP hearing aid in one ear and has an Esteem implant in the other. She plays soccer for the USA Women’s National Deaf Team. She’s currently traveling the world in pursuit of adventure and perspective while also learning about the deaf and hard of hearing communities in various countries. Her travels can be followed on instagram @ashley5chanel or on her blog