Rachel Shenton uses sign language to deliver acceptance speech
March 05, 2018  14:46
Rachel Shenton, who today took home the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film for "The Silent Child", used sign language in her acceptance speech. The 30-year-old actor stars in the short about a child Libby, played by Maisie Sly, who lives a silent life until a social worker (Shenton) teaches her to communicate through sign language.

Shenton, who also wrote the film, used gestures to help Sly talk on the Oscars stage. "I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that I'd sign this speech. My hands are shaking so I apologise," she said. The actor added "Our movie is about a deaf child being born into a world of silence.

"It's not exaggerated or sensationalised for the movie, this is happening, millions of children all over the world live in silence and face communication barriers and particularly access to education."

Shenton has become the fourth female actor to deliver their Oscar acceptance speeches in sign language. In 1976, Louise Fletcher signed to her deaf parents when she took home the golden Best Actress for "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", which was followed by Jane Fonda using the language in her address as she accepted the Best Actress award for "Coming Home" three years later.

In 1987, Marlee Matlin, who is deaf, delivered her acceptance speech using gestures on winning Academy Award for Best Actress for "Children Of A Lesser God". -- PTI

Image: Reuters
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