Photo credits: https://abc.com/shows/oscars/news/winners
This milestone represents a significant victory for people with disabilities, especially deaf and hard-of-hearing people. It means dreams that can come true.
It means a future of more authentic representation of people with disabilities in all aspects of film creation. It can be behind the camera, in front of the camera, during the script adaptation, etc.
Sian Heder (right) accepts her Oscar for best adapted screenplay for ‘CODA’ | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
Last night, Siân Héder won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for her film 'CODA' at the 2022 Academy Awards. On her way to accept the Oscar award, she motioned the interpreter to join her on stage to sign the speech. It is a defining moment in history for Hollywood. The practice of inclusion and accessibility needs to be in your living room for everyone to see. The winner of an award bringing an interpreter on stage spoke volumes as this has never happened in the Academy Awards history! This gesture may seem small, but it was a tear-jerking experience as we finally understood the acceptance speech in our language, American Sign Language. Sian was not thinking of just herself; she was thinking about providing communication access to millions of people who are deaf, including her team. Siân Héder is who I call a 'true ally' to the disability community. We need more of 'Siân Héder's in this world.
'CODA' was a great example of the inclusion of deaf people during the beginning, middle, and end of the creation. CODA will be forever known as an original film. This act of inclusion fosters a culture of respect and belonging, which is seen loud and clear.
Troy Kotsur, the winner of the "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar, dedicated his award to "the deaf community, the CODA community, and the disabled community," saying, "This is our moment."
Yes, Troy! This major victory of winning three Oscars is our moment to show the world that chasing after dreams is possible.