Short film depicts average day in the life of a college student who is Deaf

Several college students recently joined together to increase understanding of what it is like to live life as a Deaf person. The short film they created is called, “A Day Through a Deaf Person’s Eyes.” The video, available for viewing below, invites the audience to follow the main character, Ren, as she goes about a typical day.

For Ren, this includes classes, meeting up with friends, stopping at a coffee shop – normal events that many people relate to. However, the film offers the perspective of going through these events as someone who is Deaf. For Ren, that means being given homework assignments that aren’t fully accessible, or being thought of as rude for not responding to a peer who is speaking to her from behind.

By watching the video, viewers may better understand common societal barriers and misconceptions that Deaf people often deal with, such as the usually incorrect idea that people need to shout in order to be understood by people who are Deaf.

The film also includes nods to humorous aspects of being in the Deaf community, such as when Ren and a friend duck under the water in a swimming pool to sign gossip about nearby people.

Some members of our audience may wonder why the “D” in Deaf is capitalized. For the most part, the contrast between using capitalized Deaf and lowercase deaf depends on the individual in question and how they choose to identify in relation to their hearing loss and the larger community of Deaf people. As Jamie Berk stated in an article for, “Generally, the ‘small d’ deaf do not associate with other members of the deaf community, strive to identify themselves with hearing people, and regard their hearing loss solely in medical terms. ‘Big D’ Deaf people identify themselves as culturally deaf, and have a strong deaf identity. The big D deaf tend to have attended schools/programs for the deaf, while the small d tend to have been mainstreamed and/or never attended a school for the deaf.”

This video may begin with a commercial which was not chosen by or for the benefit of Rooted in Rights.

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.

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