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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 
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    Comics 
  • El Deafo is about a very young girl growing up deaf.
  • Dollicious: The cast includes the Tea Family, a deaf family running a tea shop.
  • Hawkeye: Clint has damage in his hearing due to his superhero activities.

    Fan Works 
  • The Legend of Genji: Songtai, Kalsang's cousin and best friend, was born hard of hearing and communicates through sign language.
  • 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: A remake of the French film La Famille Bélier, 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.
  • La Famille Bélier: Features a hearing child of deaf adults. Was remade in the USA as CODA.
  • 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.
  • Godzilla vs. Kong: One of the main human characters is a deaf girl named Jia, played by deaf actress Kaylee Hottle. She is said to be the last of the Iwi people, the natives of Skull Island, and she has a strong emotional bond with Kong, as both of them are the last of their kind. Past incarnations of Kong typically formed strong emotional connections - sometimes ambiguously sexual ones - with white American women, so this is also the first time the most important human to Kong has been a native of his own island. She also teaches Kong sign language.
  • 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.
  • The Little Death: An Australian sex comedy film in which two of the characters are a hard of hearing woman who works as a sign language translator, by which she meets Sam, who's deaf. One of the film's segments revolves around them completely.
  • 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.
  • There Will Be Blood: H.W. is left deaf after a blast at the oil field.
  • Unfriended: Dark Web has a deaf character named Amaya.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • Digital Fortress: This Dan Brown novel features one of his stock characters, the relentless assassin with one notable distinguishing characteristic, and in this one he is deaf, and gets his instructions by radio pager.
  • Into the Drowning Deep: Two of the main characters in the book are deaf twin sisters.
  • Kats Fall: The title character, the protagonist's little sister, was born deaf.
  • 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.
  • Guiding Light's Abby was deaf, as was her actress Amy Ecklund. Most of her storylines were typical soap stories, though an Attempted Rape was made all the scarier by the fact that she couldn't hear her assailant sneaking up on her, as well as making lewd comments to her.
  • Hawkeye: As in the comics, Clint suffers from hearing loss due to his superhero endeavors taking a toll on him. The series also features a prominent supporting character who is deaf (Echo), played by deaf actress Alaqua Cox.
  • 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: "The Baulisch Family" 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 (2010): As of Season 9, the show has two characters who are on the deaf spectrum: sisters Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Kelly (Angel Theory).
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    Podcasts 
  • Seen and Not Heard: The protagonist 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 
  • Butterfly Soup: Diya is deaf in one ear.
  • C14 Dating: Kyler, the most aloof of the love interests, wears a cochlear implant. On top of his introverted personality, he keeps it off most of the time to preserve battery life. Melissa needs to get used to relying on means other than sound to get his attention when she needs to talk to him, but also likes that she can listen to music while digging a short distance away from him without bothering him.
  • 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.
  • The Dragon Prince: Amaya, Callum and Ezran's aunt who is also a general in their kingdom's army, is deaf. She allows to establish that the setting has sign language and goes around with a Translator Buddy for those who can't see her sign or don't understand it.


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