September 12

Austin, Texas – The trailer is out for A&E’s new documentary special, Deaf Out Loud, featuring two Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) families: the Garcia family and the Mansfield family.

            The Garcias are a family of eight—four of their children attend TSD. Francisco, the father, is a TSD alumnus. His wife, April, is hearing but is a child of deaf parents. Both are founders of Hope’s Lighthouse and advocates for fostering and adoption of deaf children.

            The Mansfields – Sheena McFeely and Manny Johnson – who are both deaf, are founders of the online educational website, ASL Nook. They are a family of four and communicate exclusively using American Sign Language (ASL)—although, one daughter is hearing.

            A&E producers discovered the Garcias through the family’s YouTube videos and the Mansfields through their Disney Parks & Resorts TV commercials.

            The documentary special, executive produced by Academy Award winner, Marlee Matlin, is scheduled to premiere on September 12, 2018 at 7 p.m. (CST) on the A&E Network.

            To show the world an added perspective into the deaf community – with some scenes filmed at TSD – the school Superintendent, Claire Bugen, is especially excited A&E is featuring five TSD students and their families.

            “With A&E’s amazing success with the documentary series, Born This Way – which focused on adults living with Down syndrome, Bugen says, “it’s wonderful that the series is now focusing on families who are deaf, and deaf children. And, it’s awesome this special will premier just ahead of the annual Deaf Awareness Week.”

            “With such a strong sense of pride and cultural identity deeply embedded our deaf community,” Bugen adds, “I believe these two TSD families will present that quite well in their stories.”

Meet the TSD families:

The Garcia Family

The Garcias are a deaf and hearing family based in Georgetown, TX, that speak and sign. Married for 10 years, April and Paco are parents to six children. Paco has been deaf since birth and April is hearing but born to deaf parents. Of their six kids, four are deaf, two are hearing and four are adopted. The family faces a tough choice of whether to take one of our their sons out of a mainstream school and send him to a deaf school.

The Mansfield Family

The Mansfields are a family of four that live in Austin, TX who exclusively use the vibrant American Sign Language (ASL) as their home language as well as primarily out of the home. Manny, Sheena, and their oldest daughter Shaylee are deaf while their youngest daughter Ivy is hearing. They face scrutiny from their own families and the world for not incorporating speech at home for their hearing daughter Ivy. The Mansfields worry about the subtractive bilingualism that Ivy will face in the English dominated school system.

In follow-up to their tremendous success with “Born That Way” featuring life among individuals with Downs syndrome, A&E has focused on the lives of three predominantly deaf families and how they live full and vibrant lives and the many choices they make in doing such.

A&E has published a trailer and a Viewing Guide below.

You can learn more about the cast and the show on the Deaf Out Load Watch Guide PDF.

During Deaf Awareness Week, September 23-29, 2018, TSD will be hosting several events to celebrate the occasion, bringing awareness to the rich and vibrant deaf community, as well as to our welcoming TSD community. Please watch our TSD Facebook page @texasschoolforthedeaf  and the TSD Foundation Facebook page @LanguageForAll for more information.