‘A Quiet Place’ is a Step Forward for Disabled Characters in Hollywood Movies
This new movie has come a long way toward acknowledging the existence of a disability and it's advantage in a world where sound is the enemy. The emphasis on the fact that the young girl uses ASL as her means of communication, and thus her family does too, enhances the plotline.
Audiences as well as movie makers are acknowledging the lack of proper representation of disabled people but slowly but surely they are recognizing this quality, only intermittently.
And deafness is an easy disablity to represent because the viewer can imagine losing a sense like that.Furthermore, the removal of an essential sense, whether it be hearing or eyesight, gives audiences something they can “relate” to. Able-bodied audiences could certainly imagine what it’d be like to lack one of their five senses more than living life in a wheelchair, it’s assumed. This removal of a key sense also creates a literal manifestation of the isolation that is often assumed to be a staple of disability, shutting the character out from one facet of the world.
Nevertheless, movis like The Shape of Water and A Quiet Place move the needle in a positive direction for acknowledging disability - slowly, but in the right direction.