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Reality Television Needs More Deaf Talent

VIDEO: Even though our reality is full of individuals who are Deaf/HoH, only a handful of this population has been given an opportunity to join the cast of a reality TV show.

Huffington Post by Lydia Callis - Cycle 22 of America's Next Top Model premiered last week and one contestant, Nyle DiMarco, really captured viewers' attention. Not only is he charming and, as Tyra Banks herself said, "finneeeee. DiMarco is the very first Deaf contestant to compete on ANTM, and he quickly became a fan favorite.

Based on the overwhelmingly positive audience reaction, it's worth asking the question once again: Why don't we see more #DeafTalent representation in mainstream media?

According to a 2005 Gallaudet University survey, approximately 13 percent of U.S. citizens are Deaf/HoH -- which is roughly one out of every eight people. Even though our reality is full of individuals who are Deaf/HoH, only a handful of this population has been given an opportunity to join the cast of a reality TV show. They don't fit into the "reality" that producers are trying to create, and that is a shame for all of us.

Over the past few years, we have seen a small number of Deaf/HoH personalities get the chance to shine on reality TV. Actress Marlee Matlin made it all the way to the final episode of The Celebrity Apprentice, raising over a million dollars for charity. On hit CBS show The Amazing Race, Deaf competitor Luke Adams traveled the world conquering many challenges and ultimately came in third place. Kurt "The Irish Chef" Ramborger was the first Deaf contestant on Food Network's Chopped.... Read more:

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