The Story

Shot over 7 years, Louder Than Words 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 little device known as the cochlear implant was invented to allow deaf people the ability to hear, it was seen as a direct affront to those values.

Depicting the families choices with deafness throughout the years with these families allows Louder Than Words to challenge a lot opinions and convictions on both sides of the cochlear implant debate.

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 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 her daughter, Leah’s cochlear implant surgery at age 6. In this feature length documentary, the Coleman Family takes us step by step through their decision making process, their hopes and fears for their deaf child, including never before seen footage of Leah’s implant activation.

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 parent’s in the US to choose implants for their children. After this 7-year journey, was the result of the cochlear implant what they had hoped for?

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.