Seven years in the making, Louder Than Words, a feature length documentary film, follows two families as they deal with the struggles and controversy involved in trying to break the barriers between the hearing and deaf worlds for the benefit of their children.
What many in the hearing world fail to understand is that being deaf comes with its own community, culture, and values. So when a small device, known as the cochlear implant, was invented to give deaf people the ability to hear, it was seen by some as a direct affront to those values.
Throughout the years, depicting the families choices with deafness allows Louder Than Words to challenge a lot of opinions and convictions on both sides of the cochlear implant debate.
What happens when deaf parents choose to implant their deaf children? How will the Deaf Community, that they’ve been a part of their entire lives, respond?
Jill and Michael Stark are both deaf, as are their two children. Stuck between two cultures and wanting the best future for their children, they make the controversial choice for both of their children to undergo surgery for cochlear implants. They are part of only a handful of deaf parents in the US to choose implants for their children. After this seven year journey, was the result of the cochlear implant what they had hoped for?
When a deaf child is born to hearing parents, it seems logical that they would look to surgery to "fix" this disability. Rachel Coleman, the creator and star of the beloved children’s show, Signing Time, has been teaching American Sign Language to families for almost 15 years.
When Rachel was told that her deaf daughter, Leah, was going to graduate with a 3rd grade reading level, she refused to believe it. Was American Sign Language the answer for better communication? Signing Time was a direct result of Rachel wanting to help her daughter. Was the impact it had on Leah what she had hoped for?
Rachel has rarely spoken openly about Leah's cochlear implant surgery at age 6. In this feature length documentary, the Coleman family take us step by step through their decision making process, their hopes and fears for their deaf child, and includes never before seen footage of Leah's implant activation, and Leah's journey from birth to graduating high school.
Regardless of your view on Deaf Culture, cochlear implants or education for deaf children, this film will shine a light on debates that have never been told before in a film.
In the news
The Cochlear Implant Help Timeshttp://paper.li/ciHELP/1336847223?edition_id=ee9da380-2ea8-11e5-ab76-0cc47a0d1605
Note from the director
Bringing this story to a large audience has always been my goal. My hope is that it will not only bring awareness to the Deaf Community, but also open some eyes and ears on both sides of the cochlear implant debate, which has become something of a cultural divide.
Now that we're in post-production, your support is greatly needed - and appreciated - in order to bring this story out to the world!
- What Your Support Will Go Towards
We've begun the editing stage on the film, and we need your help in order to complete the editing, have it professionally scored (it's a film about sound, after all!), be reviewed by a legal team to clear archival footage, shoot additional reenactment scenes to enhance the film, provide professional subtitles, color correct and mix sound, finishing the film on Blu-ray and DVD and sent out for it's official debut!
As a contributor you make a difference. Please share this unique, untold story of Deaf Culture and a new perspective of the world we often take for granted!
A sincere thank you, Saj Adibs, and the LTW Team
Here is a video ABC made back in 2009, a year after I start filming this documentary. Obviously, the journey took much longer than I thought back then and this was before I met Rachel and Leah Coleman, but this will give you another perspective on the story.
Risks and challenges
This documentary is very personal to me and I’ve become very sensitive to the Deaf Culture. It has been a long journey to get here. In the last seven years, I never lost my motivation to complete this film - and now we are almost at the finish line!
The good news is that the film has been fully shot and the editing process has already begun. We have a very talented composer who signed on the project last month, a brilliant editor who has been working non-stop, and we have all the other technical elements in place.
With your support, this film will be completed in the next two months, in time for our Sundance submission in late August. You can help us overcome all obstacles in getting this much-needed film into the world.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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