Feb 2018 Broadway World
Next month, the American Cochlear Implant Alliance will host the premiere of The Listening Project, a documentary co-created by renowned audiologist Jane Madell and Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky. The film profiles 15 young adults who were born deaf but can now hear, thanks to cutting-edge technologies, including cochlear implants.
"The Listening Project shows that nothing is impossible for deaf kids," Madell said. "Thanks to years of determination and hard work and with an assist from some innovative technology these young adults have built lives and careers the world may not have thought were possible for them."
The film's stars are 15 deaf twenty- and thirty-somethings who rely on groundbreaking medical devices to hear. Most received cochlear implants. Some received their devices as young children, while others did not get them until they were teenagers. All underwent years of therapy with Madell in order to acclimate their brain to hearing and learn to speak. They've gone on to build successful careers as doctors, business analysts, neuroscientists, musicians, and audiologists, among other pursuits. Most speak like they've never had a hearing loss.
"The young people in The Listening Project offer an example that all of us can aspire to, both those with hearing loss and those without," said Donna Sorkin, executive director of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance. "The future for deaf children today is even brighter, as cochlear implant technology has improved rapidly since the stars of the film were kids."