Appreciation Speech

Many people think that because someone has a disability that they can’t accomplish things that a so-called normal person can. Well, this just isn’t true. Marlee Matlin has accomplished many things with her disability, deafness.<Click to slide with MM picture> So today, let’s take a look at Marlee Matlin: first by recognizing her many accomplishments in both her career and her personal life, secondly by examining the motivation that led her to where she is today and finally by explaining how Marlee gave back to her community.<Click to black slide> According to Biography, March 2013, Marlee Matlin discovered acting through a program at the Center on Deafness that brought deaf and hearing kids together. She landed her first leading role as Dorothy in a production of The Wizard of Oz with a children’s theater company in Chicago.

Matlin continued to pursue her acting into adulthood, while also earning a degree in law enforcement at Harper College. She won an Academy Award for her role in Children of a Lesser God. <Click to slide of MM taking the AA> The Sun Sentinel Reported in 1995 that Marlee was announced a spokeswoman for the National Captioning Institute after she helped get a law passed that requires all televisions to have a built in chip that provides closed captioning on the screens. Marlee has written a series of children novels including Deaf Child Crossing and Nobody’s Perfect. In 1994, Marlee was appointed by President Clinton to the Corporation for National Service and served as Chairperson for National Volunteer Week and was honored in a Rose Garden ceremony. According to ABC Nightly Matlin has had a lot of ups and downs in her career but she has great sense of humor about all of it. She says being a deaf actress takes a great deal of humor and being able to laugh at herself. <Click to slide with 37 second video>

In 2005 Children’s Miracle Network announced that it will honor Marlee for the Children’s Miracle Achievement Award for her outstanding outreach to the children in need. She serves on the board of multiple charitable organizations including Very Special Arts and the Starlight Foundation.

Marlee also works with the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Marlee Matlin has overcome many obstacles to get where she is now, including her own disability. Marlee says it best of all, “The Handicap of Deafness is not in the ear, it’s in the mind.”