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Deafness In Media

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Media that features deaf and/or hard of hearing characters.

This list is for works that feature deaf characters prominently.

See Deaf Creators.

A subindex of Physical Disability in Media.

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    Anime and Manga 

  • El Deafo is about a very young girl growing up deaf.
  • Hawkeye: Clint has damage in his hearing due to his superhero activities.

    Fan Works 
  • Jayne is left almost deaf from loud bangs of gunfire in the Firefly fic Neither Wit,Nor Words,Nor Worth. He’s still flying and sending home money. Sometimes it’s nice because he can’t hear things like gunfire or baby Emma crying or Mal telling him off. He adapts to writing because he can’t modulate his voice, and Simon teaches him some signs. Mal gives in and learns a few too for jobs. River initially won’t reach but later teaches him swear signs when Simon refuses.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • ...And Your Name Is Jonah: A young boy is misdiagnosed as intellectually disabled when, in reality, he is actually deaf.
  • Babe: Rex, a sheepdog (voiced by hearing actor Hugo Weaving), is hard of hearing as a result of being caught in a flash flood in which he nearly drowned.
  • Babel: The protagonist of the Tokyo sub-plot is Chieko, a deaf teenaged girl.
  • Baby Driver: Features a hearing protagonist with tinnitus (Ansel Elgort) who is a getaway driver for a gang and has a deaf foster father (CJ Jones).
  • Children of a Lesser God: Features a speech teacher who falls in love with a deaf girl (Marlee Matlin) at a school for the deaf in New England.
  • CODA (2021): A remake of the French movie Familie Beilier, features a hearing child of deaf adults, having culturally deaf parents and brother.
  • Creed: Adonis' Love Interest Bianca Taylor suffers from progressive hearing loss.
  • Eternals includes a deaf heroine played by deaf actress Lauren Ridloff.
  • The Family Stone: Features a New England family who have a deaf son (played by deaf actor Ty Giordano).
  • Feeling Through: Features Artie, a deaf-blind man.
  • The Hammer: Biographical film about deaf wrestler Matt Hamill.
  • Hush: Horror film about a deaf woman in a rural home (played by hearing actor Kate Siegel) who faces down a hearing killer after the man breaks in.
  • In the Company of Men concerns two co-workers (Chad and Howard) who devise a scheme to date their deaf colleague Christine at the same time, then both break up with her on the same day, as part of a twisted desire to get "revenge" on women as a whole.
  • Johnny Belinda: Follows the deaf Belinda (played by hearing actor Jane Wyman) and is taught sign language by a hearing doctor.
  • Listen to Your Heart: Main character Ariana is deaf. Her disability is a plot point and gets explored at length, with her mostly using sign language.
  • Mandy (1952): A British drama that has the titular character (played by hearing actor Mandy Miller) being sent to the school for the deaf by her hearing mother.
  • The Miracle Worker: Features Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan.
  • Mr. Holland's Opus: A hearing high school teacher wants to be a music composer and has a difficult time accepting his deaf son.
  • A Quiet Place and sequels: Post-apocalyptic thrillers in which monsters with highly-advanced hearing invade America. The main characters are a family who all know American Sign Language, owing to their deaf eldest daughter (played by deaf actress Millicent Simmonds), allowing them to communicate without drawing the monsters' attention, and most of the dialogue (especially in the first film) is in ASL. Static from her hearing aid also proves to be a powerful weapon against the monsters.
  • Read My Lips: French thriller that has a female hard-of-hearing office worker who wants to help a hearing ex-convict.
  • The Quiet: Dot's father was deaf, which led to her pretending to be deaf to feel closer to him.
  • See No Evil, Hear No Evil: A comedy featuring a blind man (Richard Pryor) and a deaf man (played by hearing actor Gene Wilder) going after three murderous thieves.
  • Silenced: A South Korean adaptation of the novel The Crucible by Gong Ji-young which is based on true events about deaf students who were victims of sexual abuse in the school for the hearing-impaired.
  • The Silent Child: About a four year old deaf girl being taught sign language by a social worker.
  • Sound of Metal: An American drama starring hearing actor Riz Ahmed as a metal drummer losing his hearing and working at a school for the deaf.

  • Andromeda Klein: The titular character is hard of hearing due to her osteogenesis imperfecta.
  • Apathy and Other Small Victories: Protagonist Shane takes it upon himself to solve the apparent murder of Marlene, his deaf friend.
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: One of Magnus's best friends, Hearthstone, is deaf, and he, Magnus, and Blitzen all communicate through sign language.
  • The Stand: Nick, a deaf man, is one of several point-of-view characters.

    Live-Action TV 
  • American Gladiators: The Original 90s had a deaf gladiator named Siren. She was accommodated with a mix of hand signals and shoulder taps since she couldn't hear the starting whistle. She wasn't born deaf but she lost her hearing when young and could still speak.
  • Boardwalk Empire: Al Capone's son was (as in real life) deaf.
  • Black Lightning (2018): Black Lightning's allies the Perdi are led by a deaf Black man.
  • CSI has two cases involving schools for the deaf. Grissom knows sign language due to his mom going deaf and he struggled with hearing loss until having surgery in season 3.
  • CSI: NY also has a case with a deaf victim and deaf mom and boyfriend. The girl was comfortable because she was born deaf to a deaf family, but the boy who fathered her baby was from a hearing family and they fought over getting cochlear implants for the baby.
  • Everything's Gonna Be Okay: Alex is a CODA - his dad is deaf.
  • Fargo: The assassin Mr. Wench is deaf and is played by deaf actor Russell Harvard. Mr. Wench has a short temper but adapts quickly to situations and is a sharp shooter. He appears in season 1 trying to investigate the death of Sam Hess, briefly as a child at the end of season 2, and has a surprise appearance in season 3 when he helps Nicki Swango escape the prison bus and evade Varga's men.
  • Only Murders in the Building: Theo Dimas, who is deaf and played by a deaf actor, is a major antagonist in a few episodes. In particular, the episode "The Boy From Room 6B" focuses on Theo and has no spoken dialogue until the very end. The dialogue throughout the rest of the episode is either communicated in ASL, or lip-read by Theo.
  • Quantico: In the third season, Alex Parrish and her friends are assigned to a new task force headed by Jocelyn Turner, an FBI agent-turned-instructor who lost her hearing in a terrorist attack.
  • Switched at Birth features several deaf characters who are able to sign fluently. The show portrays how they adjust to life and their everyday experiences with being deaf and how hearing people react to them.
  • Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye: The main character is deaf.
  • Supernanny: One episode features two deaf parents while all of their children are capable of hearing.
  • Supernatural featured a deaf hunter named Eileen in later seasons, who was a Love Interest for Sam Winchester. She was played by Shoshannah Stern.
  • The Walking Dead: As of Season 9, the show has two characters who are on the deaf spectrum: sisters Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Kelly (Angel Theory).

  • Seen and Not Heard: Bet Kline has lost her hearing and struggles to adapt to her situation.

    Video Games 
  • The Quiet Man: The game's protagonist (but not the character from the title) Dane is deaf, which is why most of the game is completely silent or heavily muted.

    Visual Novels 
  • Katawa Shoujo: Shizune Hakamichi was born deaf, can't or won't speak, and can communicate only in sign language. Her route showcases the difficulties in communicating, with Hisao having to take months of sign language lessons, and Shizune herself unable to properly express her feelings to most people thanks to her disabilities.

    Western Animation 
  • Archer: The title character, a secret agent, suffers from chronic tinnitus as a result of guns firing so close to his ears on many occasions.


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