The Most Famous And Inspirational Deaf People
Halle Berry is one of the world's most famous actresses. But you might not know that she is partially deaf. Halle has revealed that she was once in an abusive relationship in which her boyfriend hit her -- and she lost 80% of her hearing in one ear. Halle admits she made some bad choices of partners in the past. She says, "I want women to stand up and break the silence and get rid of the shame and the fear and find a way to stand up for themselves."
Derrick Coleman is deaf. And because of that, "There was always someone telling me what I couldn't do." Yet he never gave up. He endured many struggles. And finally, he got to live out his dream by playing for the NFL. As one of the Seattle Seahawks competing in the 2014 Super Bowl, Derrick Coleman puts deaf people in the spotlight. He's become a hero and inspiration to many.
'Glee' actress Jane Lynch discovered she was deaf in one of her ears when she was 7 years old. And that's apparently why she talks out of one side of her mouth. This is how she found out:
"My brother was switching ears with his transistor radio and I said, 'You can't do that. You can only hear out of one ear.' And he was like, 'No. I hear out of both!' I said, 'Mom, I only hear out of one ear!' And we went to the doctor. It's nerve deafness, probably from a very high fever when I was a baby."
Perhaps the most famous of all deaf people is Helen Keller. She was not only deaf, but also blind. The inspirational story of how her dedicated teacher, Anne Sullivan, helped her learn to communicate is widely known. Helen Keller grew up to become the first deafblind person to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Katie Leclerc is an actress who is best known for playing the role of Daphne Vasquez in the show 'Switched at Birth.' She's also been in episodes of 'Veronica Mars,' 'Fashion House,' and 'The Big Bang Theory.' Katie found out she has Meniere's disease when she was 20 years old. As a result of this disorder, she suffers from attacks of vertigo and hearing loss.
President Bill Clinton is one of the most high profile political names to have experienced deafness. In 1997 he was fitted with hearing aids to help him hear in crowded rooms where there is a lot of background noise. His hearing loss is attributed to a combination of his age and his band-playing youth.
Ludwig van Beethoven
It's remarkable that Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the world's most famous composers, despite being almost completely deaf by the final years of his life. He started to lose his hearing at age 26, initially suffering from severe tinnitus or ringing in the ears. He was so deaf by the time of the premiere of his Ninth Symphony, that he needed to be turned around to see the overwhelming applause from the audience.
Ashley Fiolek is a women's motocross racer. She's also deaf, and has been since birth. That hasn't stopped her competing, and winning WMA Pro National Championships in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012. Ashley has also appeared in an episode of 'Switched at Birth.'
Outstanding inventor Thomas Edison developed hearing loss at a young age. It's believed that it was caused by scarlet fever and untreated ear infections. But Edison had another explanation. He said it was due to being hit on the ears by a train conductor. Apparently, the train conductor wasn't pleased about his chemical lab catching fire in a boxcar, so he threw him off the train. In another version, Edison said his hearing loss was caused by a train conductor lifting him by his ears as he helped him onto a moving train.
Heather Whitestone's claim to fame is as the first deaf Miss America. She was crowned in 1995. Heather had lost most of her hearing at 18 months of age. In 2002 she underwent a cochlear implant to improve the hearing in her right ear. This was prompted by an incident in which she didn't hear her son crying for help.
Jim Kyte is a former professional ice hockey player from Canada. He's the only legally deaf person to have played in the NHL. Having been born with full hearing, he was deaf by the age of 3. Jim had an impressive career, playing 598 games between 1983 to 1997. He wore a helmet with flaps covering the center of his ears in order to protect his hearing aids.
Aryana Engineer is a child actress who appeared in the 2009 horror movie 'Orphan.' In 2012 she starred in 'Resident Evil: Retribution.' Aryana was born with partial deafness. She got into the movie business after being discovered by an agent who spotted her signing with her mother.
Ryan Lane is a deaf actor who has a recurring role in the show 'Switched at Birth.' He has also appeared in episodes of 'Cold Case,' 'House MD,' and 'Miami Medical.' Ryan's congenital nerve deafness was discovered when he was only 2 weeks old. He supports the charity Dogs for the Deaf -- which trains shelter dogs who then go on to assist deaf and hard of hearing people.
Marlee Matlin is famous for being the only deaf performer to have won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. The award recognised her role in the movie 'Children of a Lesser God.' She's also the youngest woman to have won Best Actress -- she was 21 years old at the time. Marlee has been deaf since she was 18 months old.
The Sandlot 2.' He plays a lead role in the ABC TV series 'Switched at Birth.' Sean was nominated for breakout star at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards.
Sue Thomas got to be the first deaf person to do undercover investigation for the FBI by lip-reading. Sue became deaf at the age of 18 months. Then at just 7 years old she became the youngest ever Ohio State champion free-style skater. Her work for the FBI inspired the making of the TV show 'Sue Thomas: FB Eye.'
Gertrude Ederle was an American competitive swimmer, known as the "Queen of the Waves." As well as being an Olympic gold medal winner, she also swam across the English Channel in 1926 -- becoming the first woman to do so. Born in 1905, Trudy's hearing wasn't the same after a childhood bout of measles, and she was almost completely deaf by the 1940s. She died in 2003 at the ripe old age of 98.
Granville Redmond was a renowned American landscape painter, famous for his California Impressionism. And he had one particularly famous fan -- Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin admired how expressive Redmond was while using sign language. He persuaded Redmond to help him develop his silent film techniques. He also gave Redmond a movie lot studio, began collecting his paintings, and gave him silent acting parts. Redmond had become deaf around the age of 3 after coming down with scarlet fever.