Jill was born deaf and had no history of deafness in her family. She married Michael Stark and had two children who were also born deaf. Her journey to give her children the best of both worlds, hearing and deaf is at the center of the film.
Michael is a dedicated husband and father. He’s been there every step of the way for his children and his mission has been educating his children about deaf culture and keeping the that rich history within his family.
Jeffrey’s story begins in the film at the age of 3. Jeffery received the cochlear implant at 18 months. He learned American Sign Language (ASL) from his parents and began attending an oral school to learn speech. He was bilingual by the age of three. The film follows Jeffrey from three years old to his 8th birthday in 2014.
Melissa is the star of the film and her journey begins when she was diagnosed profoundly deaf at birth. The film begins with her mother, Jill, while she is pregnant with Melissa and ends with Melissa at 5 years old. The film takes you through her life and the impact the cochlear implant had on her life. She learned ASL as her first language and began attending school to learn speech.
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?
Leah was born in December of 1996 and was diagnosed profoundly deaf at the age of 1. She shares her story first hand about her journey with deafness and her ability to hear with the cochlear implant.
“I’m deaf and I’m proud to be deaf. The cochlear implant doesn’t change that.” Leah Coleman