Listening to the voice of disabled people regarding disabled representation is crucial. Doing otherwise means that you’re just willing to instrumentalize us and that your piece of media is inherently bad. I’m saying it as someone who is autistic, as well as someone who actually was almost ableist a couple days ago.
I watched this movie, “Hush”, on Netflix. It’s about a deaf woman, a writer, who has to face a serial killer and is using everything around her and in her soul to survive. I was very moved by this movie because the woman protagonist was strong, willful, fierce. I thought to myself “That’s what i want to see in a movie with an autistic protagonist !”.
I was going to post a very positive review, but i’ve decided, at the last moment, to check out some reviews about the movie written by members of the Deaf community. I was shocked. What i thought was good representation was actually terrible.
The actress was not deaf herself, her use of the ASL was almost ridiculous, they weren’t accurate at all most of the time, and, apparently, the director of this movie was very dismissive towards members of the Deaf Community who tried to reach them.
I’m not deaf myself or hard-of-hearing. I discovered with this experience that i know nothing about deafness and the Deaf community and i feel a bit ashamed about the fact that i almost praised this movie as a very good representation. I was ignorant, but ignorance is not an excuse. I need to educate myself.
What i mean is that you definitely need disabled people’s input on your creation, if you want to include us as characters. No matter what disability you’re talking about.