Italian millennial uses Facebook to spread message in defense of deaf people's rights

Sara Giada Gerini's profile picture on Facebook. Cover source: Facebook

Sara Giada Gerini's profile picture on Facebook. Cover source: Facebook

Sara Giada Gerini is an Italian young woman who was born deaf, a disability she calls “invisible.”

Despite her deafness, her life has not been necessarily quiet, as she attended high school, college and played volleyball for 25 years successfully. She even won second place in volleyball at the European Championships in 2011 in Turkey.

Athletic skills aside, Gerini had another goal she wanted to achieve, which was to give deaf people the same access to television communication that regular, hearing people receive on a daily basis.

She posted a video of herself to Facebook under the title “Let us be heard,” asking that all television programs be subtitled and using placards to get her message across. The video obtained 10 million views in just 10 days, but Gerini continued to ask friends and users to share her story.

“We can’t watch 90 percent of the films, the Olympics, and several programs” on television, Gerini said. “I speak on behalf of all of us deaf, it is not fair that we cannot have the opportunity to enjoy a moment of rest in front of the TV.”

According to the ISTAT census, about 877,000 people in Italy suffer from hearing problems, and 92,000 people have a total deafness. Despite the fact that Italy’s Rai channel provides some broadcasts in the Italian Sign Language, or LIS, Italy, Malta and Luxembourg have not officially recognized LIS as a real language.

Gerini’s Facebook video is the way she chose to spread her message and promote the right to understand information, which, in some countries, is still not enough to be taken into consideration.

Share Gerini’s Facebook page to help her spread the important message.