Defying the Odds of Hearing Impairment

  • April 30, 2019
Defying the Odds of Hearing Impairment

One of the most popular shows on television has recently
cast a deaf actress to costar in their series. Well known for her role in
“Children of a Lesser God”, Lauren Ridloff stars in Season 9 of “The Walking
Dead” as a deaf character.

Being the first deaf actress to join the zombie series,
Lauren plays a major role as Connie, one of the new survivors in the series,
and appeared in a number of episodes during the ninth season.

According to Entertainment Weekly, her character is deaf and
uses American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate”. She is depicted as “a
seasoned survivor deft at using her senses to read people, situations, and
trouble.

The use of American Sign Language as well as a deaf actress was
the perfect opportunity for the show to raise awareness towards deafness, and
to portray that deaf actors and actresses can perform as well as their hearing
peers.

Lauren was born deaf and grew up in Chicago with a love of
reading, theatre, and film. She attended Gallaudet University high school where
she performed in the school’s production of “The Wiz.”. In 2000, she was
crowned Miss Deaf America.

Lauren went onto teaching in Washington D.C. after
graduating with a degree in creative writing at the University of Illinois.
Later she moved to Brooklyn, to settle with her husband, and thereafter their
two deaf sons.

Along with “The Walking Dead”, Lauren has appeared in
various films, such as “If You Could Hear My Own Tune”, a story about deafness
and music as well as “Sign Gene,” a film about a deaf agent.

In 2017, Lauren performed in “Wonderstruck” portraying Pearl,
the Maid. She later went onto achieving a Tony Award for “Best Performance by
an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play”, for her appearance in the Broadway
production of “Children of a Lesser God”.

Her acting and experiences are a fantastic example of deaf talent
and inspire those with hearing disabilities to pursue their dreams. If you have
a loved one who is suffering from hearing loss, visit our website
to schedule an appointment today. Remember to always follow your dreams and
stay positive in your life’s journey.