Deaf TV actor Sean Berdy to visit campus

Emma Daniel

Staff Writer

The Interpreting Training Program is sponsoring “An Evening with Sean Berdy,” which will be held on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Claudia Crosby Theater.

Berdy, who is deaf, will be giving a motivational speech and an American Sign Language (ASL) musical performance as a part of his ASL Champions Tour. There will also be a meet and greet afterward to allow fans to say hello and take a photo. The entire event will be sign-voice interpreted.

Sean Berdy is best known for his performance in ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth,” in which two girls discover that hospital staff switched them after they were born. Berdy plays Emmett Bledsoe, a “deaf James Dean,” according to his bio. His performance inspired a wave of people to learn ASL and increased deaf awareness.

Berdy also makes ASL music videos and gives motivational speeches nationwide. He toured with Vibrations while attending the Indiana School for the Deaf and was most known for his ASL dance performance of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.”

“Each year (Berdy) selects different schools he wants to attend to recognize them for their efforts in teaching deaf culture, deaf community, ASL and promoting awareness about the field,” said Judy Robertson, director of the interpreter training program.

Robertson said that anyone can participate in the event.

“We would love to see people from other departments and other programs attend this event so that they can become more aware about the successes, the challenges, everything a deaf person may face, and this is an example of a person overcoming those challenges,” Robertson said.

Quinton Mims, an ASL interpreting major from Birmingham, said he is excited to attend after seeing Sean Berdy on “Switched at Birth.”

“I think it’s definitely going to be interesting to be able to meet him and sign with him and learn more about his background and experience,” Mims said.

Tickets are $25 and are available on Tickets will not be sold at the door.

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