June 3, 2011

Katie LeClerc Switched at Birth

Posted by at 1:07 am in Celebrities | Permalink

KatieLeClercKatie LeClerc stars in Switched At Birth. In the show, she plays a deaf teenager coping with life in the hearing world. What you may not know is that Katie herself is also hard of hearing. She has Meniere’s disease, an inner-ear disorder that can cause severe hearing loss over time. It is possible that her hearing may get worse as she gets older.

Q: Tell us about your character in the show.
Katie: Daphne is a normal, typical high school girl. She plays basketball on her team. She’s got boyfriends. She’s got good grades. And she’s deaf. It was really exciting to be able to portray that. I learned sign language when I was 17. I learned it in high school. When I was 20, I found out that I had Meniere’s disease and I am very, very, very fortunate that I will be able to communicate for the rest of my life, because it gets worse over time. I thought, I would not leave my daughter alone in the deaf world and not teach her. It’s amazing how many parents do and because of that I learned sign language.

Q: Do you do your voice on the show?
Katie: I do speak in accents on the show. We mapped out Daphne’s hearing loss and what that would mean for her accents. So I trained in dialect and worked on that very hard. SwirchedatBirth

Q: Did you get any advice from [deaf actress Marlee Matlin] about Deaf culture?
Katie: I’ve had some great conversations with Marlee. The Deaf community has a different perspective on the world than the hearing community does and I think this show’s gonna be a great bridge between the two worlds and I think we’re hopefully going to be very successful with that.

Q: Did you ever feel you wanted to switch lives and not have Meniere’s disease?
Katie: There are definitely symptoms and some times are harder than others but my sister’s is far more progressed than mine and to see how her struggle goes and see what she does is sort of inspiring and I’m lucky ’cause I get to know what I have to look forward to so I can prepare for it. There’s really nothing you can do about it so I just try to keep a positive attitude. I’ve acted for ten years and I’ve had the great opportunity to play this role. I’ve been very fortunate as far as this goes.

Q: Has anyone not wanted to cast you because of it?
Katie: Most people are unaware of my hearing loss.

Q: If you lose your hearing, will you still speak? Have you thought about what it would be like?
Katie: I think that I’m going to embrace the moment that I’ve been given right now and take it one day at a time. But I have every plan in the world to continue with my career and keep up with the good work.

I think that’s good advice for anyone, no matter who you are! What do you think? Will you be watching Switched at Birth? Let us know in the Comments.

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

Interview by Gerri Miller
Images courtesy of ABC Family

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  1. iluvhp17

    wow!!!! finally my grade has some appreciation for hearing loss from this show!!!! Because I actually have hearing loss (not deaf, but most of my hearing is gone). Now they’re asking me to teach them sigh language, which is an amazing thing. Because they need to know that its not easy to be who I am. Now they realize that when they bullied me, if was pointless!!! Thank you Katie for showing everyone its not easy being different, even if you think its just an excuse!!!!

  2. julia

    i waqnt to watch but like all that time you didn’t think something was up.you did’nt even look like you parents i feel really bad if it were totally true!!:(

  3. cameron

    sounds really cool never seen it but i want 2 but it annoys me tht some pple tht i no r now absest…good luck cameron!!!!!!!!!!! im just glad i wasnt switched at birth

  4. Mara

    I love this show so much! I have a series recording set up, so idt records every single one! :) Great show Katie, I LOVE IT!

  5. Mya

    Hi my name is Mya the new show swiched at birth looks really intresting and i think i would watch it it really looks good mabey even better then whats on T.V now adays there used to be some really good T.V shows and movies but now there making a new movie called captine america it looks dumb the dude doesnt even have powers he jut has musels thats it but anyways i cant wait to start watching swiched at birth you should watch it to i think its gonna be better then the new stuff there making anyways thanks for reading
    Your Writer,
    Mya k.

  6. caraboos01

    wow, an inner ear malfunction almost. i hope i never get one, i’m hopeless at sign language.

  7. volleyballrising1

    I totally love this show. It shows you how deaf people live in the world and how many people are uneducated about the deaf world. Katie does such a fantastic job being Daphne!!

  8. dolphincheerful11

    the first show was graet because it had alot of affection in it and it shows that even though some people are different doasn’t mean there weird so it is a raelly graet show can’t wait to see the next one.