Marlee Matlin visits UCF
By: Mandisa Tatum
March 26th, 2013
Academy Award winning actress Marlee Matlin inspires both deaf and hearing
Wednesday evening, hundreds filled the Student Union Pegasus Ballroom for ABC Family’s Switched at Birth star Marlee Matlin. The event was hosted by the Multicultural Student Center and the American Sign Language Club of UCF and was in honor of Month of the Woman.
Matlin is not only an award-winning actress, but is the only deaf performer to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. She, along with her interpreter Jack Jason, spoke to students about overcoming the obstacles and limitations that many deaf people face. Matlin stated that the real handicap of deafness does not lie in the ear, rather in the mind.
“I was determined to show people, that despite the barriers that surrounded me that I could do anything…except hear,” she said.
Matlin gave students encouraging words and urged them to follow their dreams no matter the circumstances.
“Courage plus dreams equals success. Some think I may live in a world of silence, but silence is the last thing they will hear from me,” she said.
ASL student Malissa Miranda said that although she is not deaf, Matlin was her inspiration to get involved in ASL and the deaf community.
“Marlee and her strength to overcome obstacles has really touched my life and set me on the path to learning the beautiful and rich language that is ASL,” she said.
Matlin’s appearance is part of ASL’s celebration of Deaf Awareness Month. To find out more information about events going on visit the ASL Knights website.