MEANT TO BE Film from Communication Service for the Deaf Explores Identity in the Deaf Community
Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) has released Meant to Be, its third film in its Vision series. This film, directed by Dickie Hearts, explores the life experiences of a deaf baby, Alba, who is born to hearing parents. A doctor advises the parents to avoid using sign language and to give Alba cochlear implants so that she can be as "normal" as possible.
Throughout her childhood, Alba is frequently bullied. No matter how hard she tries to blend in, it's never enough. She encounters setback after setback until a chance meeting in the library sets her on a new path, leading Alba to discover who she is meant to be.
"This film is part of CSD's film series addressing the power and importance of diversity to make the world a better place to live in, through self-representation," said CSD CEO Christopher Soukup. "We have a vision for a world that is influenced and inspired by the diverse stories of the Deaf experience, as portrayed in our Vision films."
"The first film focused on Deaf people's communicative experience streamlined by scalable technology, the second film addressed the ideological threat of genetic engineering and potential homogenization of the world." Soukup added, "This new film focuses on how a young Deaf woman, despite the medical profession's attempts to 'normalize' her, discovers and owns her identity on her own terms. As Deaf people, we constantly work to assert ourselves, and since equality isn't granted to us, our self-acknowledgement leads to taking actions to change and own our reality."
Soukup emphasizes that the programs at CSD are designed to maximize the "cultivation of opportunities for success," and address various issues such as unemployment, education, and communication access. In addition to on-the-ground programs, CSD also engages the public through thought leadership campaigns that are designed to address biases and misconceptions about Deaf people and their abilities. Soukup added, "One way to do so is to generate conversations about what it means to be human, promote diversity, and inspire meaningful changes in perceptions. This film is just one of many ways CSD is doing that."
Vision 1 Synopsis: Deaf people have always looked to integrate with society, but this time, it is possible to do this on our own terms. Through technology, communication is made open and transparent, where every Deaf person can interact freely with others. This vision of seamless communication has always belonged to the community, and what we work for everyday at CSD.
Vision 2 Synopsis: A short fictional film that takes place in the near future. The word "disability" has been replaced with "human diversity," and innovations in technology make it possible for meaningful connections between all people. These advances in laws and technology may not be enough to prevent a culture change where certain groups of people are "cured" or removed. Are we strong enough to stand together, to fight for and preserve all kinds of human diversity?