Actress to speak Tuesday for ‘disAbility’ Awareness Month

Amanda Crumm

Marlee Matlin, Academy Award winner and activist, will present her keynote address at Kent State in honor of October being “disAbility” Awareness Month.

Matlin’s address, “Nobody’s Perfect: Achieving Inclusion, Diversity and Access,” is being held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Kent Student Center ballroom.

The event is free and open to the public.

Matlin, who lost her hearing when she was 18 months old, became the youngest recipient at the age of 21 to win the Best Actress Oscar for her movie debut in Paramount Pictures’ “Children of a Lesser God,” according to her official website.

Matlin has since then starred in numerous films such as “Hear No Evil” and CBS’s “Bridge to Silence,” where she debuted her first speaking role.

Her acting career flourished as she nabbed roles in countless widespread TV shows, such as “Reasonable Doubts” and “The West Wing” and guest starring on “Desperate Housewives,” “CSI: New York,” ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth.”

She is the author of three novels for children entitled “Deaf Child Crossing,” “Nobody’s Perfect” and “Leading Ladies” and an autobiography entitled “I’ll Scream Later.”

Amy Quillin, senior associate director for Student Accessibility Services, said she is not aware of Kent State previously having a keynote speaker who is hearing impaired.

“We’re very fortunate and very privileged to have her on campus,” she said.

The point of the “disAbility” month events is to emphasize that having a disability does not limit displaying abilities, Quillin said, adding that she hopes this year’s events highlight this message.

The event is sponsored by Student Accessibility Services, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, University Health Services, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, The College of the Arts, The College of Arts and Sciences, 100 Commitments, Jewish Studies Program and the College of Education, Health & Human Services.

For more information on “disAbility” Awareness Month, contact Student Accessibility Services.

Contact Amanda Crumm at [email protected].