More and more entertainment productions have sought to increase diversity on-screen because, after all, representation matters. While we, as a society, have made strides (especially in racial inclusivity), we still have a long road ahead of us. Well, with ‘Deaf U,’ Netflix has upped the ante in the docuseries genre in the best way possible. It truly goes a step further and brings to our screens the rather normal college lives of a few students who are deaf. So, in case you’re curious to know where ‘Deaf U’ was filmed, we have got your back!
Deaf U Filming Locations
The series is shot in Washington, D.C. You may recognize the executive producer, Nyle DiMarco, as the first deaf winner of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ in 2015. It is clear how much the project means to him – “The point of it all is that deaf people are human. We’re the same as human people, we go through the same as hearing people. I wanted to see diversity and layers in the community.” It is especially noteworthy that the University we are going to discuss is his alma mater.
The 99-acre campus of Gallaudet University is where the students receive an education that is tailored for the deaf community. In fact, it is the only higher education institution in the world that has designed a specific curriculum while keeping its students with a hearing disability in mind. It was founded in 1864, and the private college is named after Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, an educator that championed the needs of the community. Officially, the University is bilingual as American Sign Language (ASL), and written English are used.
Netflix Docuseries 'Deaf U' Stars Gallaudet University Students | DCist https://t.co/umT6PGJFfR
— DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities (@TheDCArts) July 27, 2020
One of the students, Daequan Taylor, stated that the shoot lasted for almost a year. Filmmakers worked closely with the University. They double-checked with professors about shooting during classes and also kept the students’ hectic schedules in mind. It is clear that all the cast members are excited about the potential impact that ‘Deaf U’ can have. They feel that the show is an essential step in highlighting their community and how their disability doesn’t define them.
Fortunately, the filming was not affected by the coronavirus pandemic. By the time it struck, the filmmakers had already captured the cast members at Wunder Garten, the Rosebar Lounge, and Busboys and Poets. Rodney Buford, who appears on the show, said, “Deaf people can do what you all do. The only thing we can’t do is hear. You see we have our own college, have our own culture. We have our own challenges but the culture’s so rich.”
— Gallaudet University (@GallaudetU) September 30, 2020
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