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>>Susan Wojcicki: So good morning. So I'm very, very pleased to have Marlee Matlin here.
And I'm very pleased to introduce her and
have her come up here and tell us her story and tell us about some
of the causes that she is committed to. [ Applause ]
>>Marlee Matlin: Thank you. Thank you, thank you, Susan.
And speaking of not everyone knowing who I am, it's true.
There isn't. I don't know if any of you -- well, I have
to admit this, but I was a huge -- I actually had a huge weakness, when I have the time
to watch a little television, because I have four kids, and it's difficult to watch.
And I have one teenaged girl who is 14, and she's a huge fan of "The Bachelor."
You all know the show "The Bachelor." It just so happened that on "Dancing with
the Stars" when I was there, I happened to meet the -- what's his name?
Jake -- I actually met Vienna, who is the woman who grabbed Jake, or who Jake chose
on this year's bachelor. And she came up to me and said, "Are you an
actress?" And, of course, clearly, it proves that not
everybody knows who I am. [ Laughter ]
>>Marlee Matlin: Anyway, I am so happy to be here today at the coolest place, the mecca
of the Internet world, Google. Google is a sign -- what's the sign?
This is the sign -- Google headquarters. It's like that moment when Darth Vader said,
"Luke, I am your father." And everyone gasped and said, "No way!"
I can't believe it's happening. It's the ultimate cool to be here today.
And there's free food, too. You guys have free Red Bull, free food.
I can't believe it. It's really great.
[ Laughter ] >>Marlee Matlin: So is there a resume that
I need to give you if I want to apply for a job here?
Maybe I could play pool all day. I don't know.
Anyway, thank you. It's a fun place to be.
Thank you for having me here. More importantly, being here with you, I can
finally see some of the faces behind the news and the entertainment and the information
that the world has come to rely upon. And now that I see you, I want to say thank
you for all that you are doing. You are fantastic.
Thank you very much. Well, I know that you're anxious to have me
talk about my book, that book that is called "I'll Scream Later."
And some of you may wonder where that title came from.
Well, I have to admit that if you didn't know already, I am a recovering drug addict.
And today it's been 23 years, two months, and 20 days.
And just -- [ Applause ]
>>Marlee Matlin: Thank you. [ Applause ]
>>Marlee Matlin: And just after I won the Golden Globe for best actress in "Children
of a Lesser God," I checked myself into rehab at the Betty Ford Clinic.
Unlike today, where my entire journey would have been covered by TMZ and Perez Hilton,
back then, way back then, there was no such thing as being able to -- there was no such
thing as those things, so I was able to check in in secret.
While I was there, I was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress.
If you can imagine, I must be the only person to get that, "Congratulations, you've been
nominated," call while working on my sobriety at the Betty Ford Clinic.
So, anyway, when the phone call came in from Jack here, who -- by the way, this is Jack
Jason, my interpreter, if I didn't introduce him already, sorry.
[ Applause ] >>Marlee Matlin: I don't have a male voice.
I just wanted to let you know that. [ Laughter ]
>>Marlee Matlin: Well, maybe after a couple of cigarettes.
No, anyway. Anyway, he asked me for reaction or a statement,
which wasn't going to be, "Staying sober. Thank you for the nomination, but I'm staying
sober, keeping sober." I didn't want to say that.
So instead, I said, tell them I'll scream later.
And that phrase stuck with me ever since. And I think it strikes the right tone of humor
and irony coming from this Deaf gal, because as you'll see in my book, I may be Deaf, but
I'm probably one of the loudest people you'll ever meet.
My good friend and mentor, Henry Winkler, put it perfectly when he told me, "If you
will it, it is not a dream." For me, if you will it, it is not a dream.
It's about intention. And for me, even though I was different than
everyone else, I had the will and the desire to make something happen for myself.
And everything else just followed. But times have changed.
Though today I'm an actress and a film producer, as well as an advocate for children and disability-related
causes, and most recently a dancer on "Dancing with the Stars" -- I hope you voted for me.
Did you vote? Okay.
I'm also a mother of four. And as a result, I'm a cook and a car-pool
driver and a room mother and a conflict mediator, and a closet organizer and a pretend math whiz.
Seriously, life is good.
It's been 23 years since critics said that I won my Academy Award out of pity and that
I would never work in Hollywood again simply because I was Deaf.
And I'm still here. The barriers that many had predicted would
stop my career dead in its tracks have virtually vanished, thanks to many working actors like
me who are Deaf or differently abled, attitudes have changed.
Now, most of the barriers I face are more humorous than they are distressing.
Here are a couple of examples. Once when I was working on a television show
with Mark Harmon called "reasonable doubts." Many of you are probably too young to even
know this program was on the air. But, anyway, an NBC executive came to visit
the studio where we were shooting the show. After watching me work for a little while,
he said to the executive producer of the show, you know, that Marlee Matlin is great.
Is she going to be Deaf for the whole show? [ Laughter ]
It's okay, I'm over it. And once while I was ready to appear live
on CNN, in front of millions of viewers, as you know CNN has, the director was counting
down the seconds, and I was getting my makeup, Jack was sitting with the reporter on the
other side of the camera, as we were counting down, with just three seconds, she leaned
over to Jack and said, "Could you tell Marlee that my dog is deaf just like her."
And suddenly I was live on television, and I'm thinking, what does she want me to --
does she want to throw me a bone? Does she want me to say woof?"
I don't know. Okay.
And this doesn't only happen in Hollywood. It happened to me a couple of times.
I don't know about you, those people who are Deaf, but I'm on a plane, ready for the plane
to take off. I'm set, my seat belt is on, and Jack and
I are signing to each other. The flight attendant comes over, sees me signing,
waves, gives me a menu. As soon as she sees me signing, she grabs
the menu out of my hand, goes to the galley and returns with a new menu in Braille.
[ Laughter ] >>Marlee Matlin: Actually, they have to think
about it for a moment, too. And she's like, "Yes, so what's wrong?
Don't you need the Braille?" I'm like, "No, I'm Deaf, not blind."
And then she realizes it, and then I never see her for the rest of the flight.
I use these stories not to trivialize the barriers facing people like myself, because
every day, there is still discrimination against differently-abled people and people who are Deaf.
And whether being in front of the camera,
out and about, being a mom, or working on behalf of some of my favorite charities, my
message has always been the same and one that I got from my parents, that no matter what
abilities we possess, all of us not only deserve respect, we deserve to be heard.
In my book, I chronicle that it wasn't always easy, that sometimes I was made fun of out
there and sometimes I fell. But it was all a part of growing up.
Just because I was Deaf, my parents felt that I should not live a sheltered life.
And far from it. They believed that it was important for me
to embrace life, both the good and the bad. So even though I danced in front of 25 million
people each week on "Dancing with the Stars," or stood my ground as strong characters who
just happened to be Deaf on shows like "The 'L' Word" and on "The West Wing," I still
have days when I feel like I'm going out that front door of my parents' house for the first
time to prove that I can do anything except hear.
And oftentimes I still find myself explaining that, yes, I do drive a car; and, yes, I can
have children; and, yes, I am a working actress. Well, fortunately, with your commitment here
today to creating greater accessibility, you at Google have demonstrated that you get it.
You get it. Because what you're doing here today with
YouTube and automatic captioning is nothing short of extraordinary.
I cannot tell you how much I've come to rely on the Internet for my communication needs.
And many others out there, many millions of others out there.
I'm sure you've probably heard of the irony of the invention of the telephone, that when
Alexander Graham Bell, who had a Deaf wife and a Deaf mother, wanted to find a way to
help them communicate, he thought of the television -- excuse me, the telephone as a tool that
would help them. But little did he realize that the telephone
would be one of the greatest barriers when it came to communication between the Deaf
and the hearing world. Right there.
Twenty years ago, I lobbied, and I succeeded in getting the film which inspired me to be
an actress, "The Wizard of Oz," to be closed captioned for the first time.
Because captioning was crucial in bringing the words that you all take for granted
to my world. And the following year, in 1990, I took it
one step further, and I went to Capitol Hill to lobby on behalf of the legislation that
all televisions 13 inches or larger should be equipped with closed captioning technology.
Like the critics who doubted my ability to be an actor because, in their eyes, my Deafness
put me on a level below my peers, TV manufacturers and programmers thought that millions of Americans
who were Deaf or hard of hearing didn't deserve equal access through closed captioned.
But with the hard work and determination, we were successful in getting the decoder
bill passed. Six years later. And legislation was passed that
required that all broadcast television be 100% closed captioned.
But like the irony of the invention of the telephone telephone, the Internet eventually became
a bigger barrier than one could ever imagine when it came to closed captioning content on
broadband. Here's a good example.
Just last October, the "The Wizard of Oz" celebrated a wonderful milestone, the 75th
anniversary of its initial release. And for the first time in broadcast history,
it was going to be streamed live to every single American who had access to a computer
for free. So -- absolutely free.
So I was eager to share the film with my children, particularly my then-five-year-old daughter,
in whose eyes I saw the same sense of wonderment and excitement that I had when I was 7 watching
the film for the first time about the young girl with the Ruby slippers who dreamt of
someplace over the Rainbow. But when I opened up my laptop and hit the
"play" button, I was horrified to find that the film that I had lobbied to get closed
captioned 20 years earlier was shown without captions.
I was told that the technology was not out there and that I had to be patient and to
wait. Well, as I said, I like to make noise.
So I tweeted like crazy to the thousands of followers that I had on Twitter, and I made
sure that my friends, like Ashton Kutcher and Alyssa Milano knew what was going on and
-- what was going on with closed captions on the Internet.
And I encouraged them to re-Tweet. And they did.
Then I found out there was actually no problem with the technology, and, in fact, the technology
is out there to stream content with closed captions.
When it came down to the same issue, a lack
of understanding, it was a lack of understanding, and a large percentage of manufacturers said
that -- we said, "You need to provide access for the millions of users who are Deaf or
hard of hearing. So by providing closed captions, they can
get access." More importantly, they failed to understand
that original programming had captions, but that the Internet had to have the captions
as well. Eventually, the frustration increased so much,
because I had to fight to make -- to do what I did 20 years ago all over again.
The ultimate irony came during the unveiling of the celebration of Helen Keller's life.
There was a statue being unveiled in the capitol rotunda.
It was streamed live without captions. Here we're celebrating and honoring a woman
who fought for equality and accessibility over 100 years ago, and who I looked up to
as a role model, and I wasn't even able to share the celebration of her life.
It was simply unacceptable, unacceptable. But you at Google, you changed all that.
Just as you did when you pioneered the search engine, you are helping to ensure the commitment
and standards and legislation that we work for in access in broadcast TV are continuing
here with your efforts in getting hundreds and thousands of videos on YouTube broadcast
with closed captions. So today, I am proud to premiere the pilot
episode of a show that I produced which I hope will become a series either on network
or Web, called "My Deaf Family." And the show chronicles a family from right
here in the San Francisco Bay Area that is made up of both Deaf and hearing family members.
It's told from the perspective of 15-year-old Jared Firl, who is hearing.
Jared's parents are Deaf, and they work nearby here at the California School for the Deaf
in Fremont. And Jared also has three siblings, two of
whom are Deaf and one who is hearing. I like to think of it as a Deaf version of
'Little People, Big World'. And I even pitched it to TLC in the hopes
of creating the first reality show of its kind ever showing what life is like for millions
of Americans who are Deaf and hard of hearing. Unfortunately, TLC seemed more interested
in doing a show about killing moose with Sarah Palin.
Fine. That's okay.
That's all right. If TLC won't have me, I figure I'll do it
my words and using Ms. Palin's words, I'm going to go rogue and broadcast it on YouTube,
where I can call the shots and where I can be guaranteed that the show will be broadcast
with captions. Thank you, Google, for making this happen.
I also want to say that though I may be Deaf, silence is the last thing the world will ever
hear from me. And that the real handicap of Deafness does
not lie in the ear; it lies in the mind. Thank you for your commitment to breaking
through the barriers and providing access to YouTube through automatic captioning.
Through your example, you're helping to open the minds of those who choose to handicap
millions of people like myself who are Deaf or hard of hearing and who don't provide closed
captioning content through broadband. Your efforts today will guarantee the hard-fought
victory we won so many years ago can move forward into the 21st century.
So without any delay, please enjoy the premiere of "My Deaf Family" on YouTube.
But before I say this, hold on, one second. I want to introduce to you one of the stars
of "My Deaf Family," of this program, Bridgetta Bourne-Firl is here with us today.
Could you please stand up. [ Applause ]
>>Marlee Matlin: Thank you for coming out, taking time out of your busy schedule to be
with us. I want to thank the children and the students
from the California School for the Deaf who are with us today, who came out today with
us. [ Applause ]
>>Marlee Matlin: So just two things. Enjoy the show, and I'm going to think about
where to find my glasses so I can read some more.
Okay. Let's go.
[ Video playing ]
My name is Jared, I'm 15 and I have a family of six.
My dad's name is Leslie. My mom's name is Bridgetta...
[Video ends] [ Applause ]
>>Marlee Matlin: So, there you go. There you go.
This was something that we had been hoping for a long time.
And now we have the opportunity to put it there on YouTube.
And we hope that millions of people worldwide
will have the chance to see this. And this makes it even bigger than just the
pilot. And thank you, Bridgetta.
Thank you, Bridgetta, for letting us come into your home, for letting us into your home.
And this was shot just in one and a half days. That's all we had, just one and a half days
to shoot. And, you know, it's almost unheard of in the
reality programming business to make a pilot that only covers one and a half days of a
family's life. But I'm very proud of it.
And I hope that you all enjoyed it. And I think that we also might be having some
-- do I need to give you the microphone? Do we have questions and answers?
>>Susan Wojcicki: I'm going to ask a few questions. And then I'd really like to open it up to
the audience. And I'll just start by saying that you're
such an inspiration and that your story is fantastic and wonderful.
And thank you for coming and sharing. And, again, it really is a commitment of ours
as a company to make information accessible. So I'm so pleased that you can be here and
we can share that common goal. >>Marlee Matlin: Thank you.
>>Susan Wojcicki: So I'll start with, given that we have people in the company here who
are probably engineers, probably salespeople, across the company, and they're all people
who can work on some of the accessibility, what are some of the things that you would
like to see us doing on the Internet and how can we make the captioning even better?
>>Marlee Matlin: Well, I mean, first of all, if you could make all the captions purple
with the yellow background -- no, I'm just joking.
I'm just joking. Or a different font, perhaps we could go to
Helvetica. Do you have the ability to change the font?
Do you? You can change the font.
I like that. That answered my question right away.
Listen, you're doing it, you are doing it already.
You're doing it all. I applaud you all for what you've done so
far. I don't think there's any -- I don't know
what more I could ask for. I know that you can't do it immediately perfectly
in terms of automatic captioning so that the voice recognition works, you know, 100%.
& there might be some confusion. It takes time.
It certainly takes time. But you're putting it out there.
And there's room to make it perfect. I'll be patient.
>>Susan Wojcicki: Great. We'll definitely be working on it.
I looked at some last night, and like, I noticed sometimes when people put them on manually,
you can't always tell who is speaking. For example, that, like, I watched your interview
on Larry King, and I didn't know when it was -- like, if I didn't hear it, I wouldn't
have been always possible to know when you were speaking versus your -- Larry King or
the interviewer was speaking. I thought that would be one example is that
we always have connotation of who is the speaker, for example.
>>Marlee Matlin: You know, listen, when captions first came out on television, it was, like,
three's company was the first show that had captions.
I was just fascinated with the fact that there were words on screen.
It was a dream we had. It would be great to think of having words
back then. Now it's a reality.
When they first came out, it took a little bit of getting used to and adjustment to know
who was talking and to be able to understand. But then, eventually, they made adjustments
so that they had one person speaking on one side of the screen and one person on the other
side with the captions. It's just a matter of time.
It's -- I wouldn't like it if they put two different colors on there, as they do in some
countries with captions. I think it's too confusing.
I think that's too confusing. I personally don't care for that kind of captioning.
So.... >>Susan Wojcicki: Okay.
Great. So I'll ask one more question, then I'd love
to hear from the audience here. But what kind of -- is there any legislation
or any ways that we could work with policy, meaning Google, the company?
>>Marlee Matlin: Well, there's a law called HR-3101.
I didn't mean to interrupt. But -- she knows.
So HR-3101 is on the Hill. We want to get it passed so it would allow
for that accessibility on the Internet as we were talking about today.
It's just not been passed yet. >>Susan Wojcicki: Can you say a little bit
about what it is, just so everyone here knows. >>Marlee Matlin: Well, Jack can do that better
than I can. >>Jack Jason: It's basically --
>>Marlee Matlin: Talk -- >>Jack Jason: Yes, as Marlee said, back in
1990 and then again in 1994, legislation was passed that required broadcasters to closed
caption, because they wouldn't do it themselves. Now, with everything moving to the Internet,
it seems the information that's there captioned isn't moving with captions.
They're still not captioning it. HR-3101 is intended to force Internet providers
to caption what's already been captioned. So it's applying that law to the Internet.
There's a lot of complaints. Well, a lot of it is user-generated.
We can't caption that. How are you going to force us to do that?
I mean, a lot of stuff on YouTube is made by people who go to YouTube.
Well, you guys solved that problem with automatic captions.
Now it's time for the other people to do that. So that's what HR-3101 is intended to do.
We're waiting for the vote, or at least to be even brought up.
I'm not familiar with the legislative process. But we're waiting for sponsors.
And the health care bill took up a lot of attention.
And everybody was focused on that. So now, hopefully, we can move to this and
-- >>Marlee Matlin: I've been working very closely
with the National Association of the Deaf. And hoping that their efforts -- I mean, in
their terms, I'm their spokesperson when it comes to closed captioning.
And, hopefully, we can work together to make sure that this legislation passes.
>>Susan Wojcicki: Great. Well, what questions do people -- want to
come to the audience -- come to the -- I'll hand the mike over.
>>>A special question for you. My colleague is actually blind.
And we've just watched your reality TV. And there were certain points where the text
appeared, but there was no audio. So she couldn't actually hear what was going
on. So it would be really cool if you could find
a way to make that happen. >>Marlee Matlin: Well, I understand.
And I believe that they're working on that audio description technology for people who
have low vision or who are visually impaired. People who can hear.
There certainly needs to have some sort of description, audio description on screen.
I believe that they're working on that here. And I'll bring up Naomi to explain that.
>>Naomi Bilodeau: This is the perfect opportunity for me to put in a plug for the access eng
team. We have head count in our team.
And if you would like to come and help us work on these problems, we have a list of
interesting problems we're working on right now.
There are ways of doing audio description in YouTube right now.
You do it by mixing in the audio. It's called open audio.
And if anybody is curious, I can send out an e-mail maybe through the authors team list
that include some links to videos that have that.
So I'm going to hand this back to somebody before I babble too much.
>>Marlee Matlin: Absolutely, Naomi. It's important.
>>Susan Wojcicki: Great. Other questions?
Sure. You guys can also stand up at the mike there.
>>>Hi. A couple of comments and a question.
First, for making the captioning technologies at Google become a possibility, we -- there
is one person I would like to recognize. That's my good friend Ken Harrenstien, sitting
right there. And --
>>Marlee Matlin: I was planning to do that. Yes, Ken Harrenstien.
[ Applause ] >>>Yeah, he has been pushing tirelessly for
this to happen in the past few years. And he happened to be my first office mate
when he joined Google seven years and two weeks ago.
And my other office mate was Greg Badros, who was hard of hearing.
And I was designing servers. And I had these big, loud machines in my room,
and I had the perfect roommates. They never minded.
So -- and the question is, I'm an engineer, so I was curious, like, when we -- hearing
people in a room want to attract attention, we usually, like, use a glass or something
to make a noise so everybody -- attract everyone's attention.
I wonder if, for people who don't hear, how do you do that?
>>Marlee Matlin: (Stamping foot). >>>Really?
>>Marlee Matlin: No, we flash the lights. We just flick the lights off and on or we
wave. But that's -- 'cause that's very visible.
I can see it, because my peripheral vision is very good.
My eyes are the means of which I depend on to use, just as you depend on your ears to
hear and you can hear anything. I'm very visual.
If you do this (indicating) or this (indicating), like, when there's paparazzi, a good example,
when I go to paparazzi. At first when I came into the business, they
would call my name, Marlee, Marlee. And I would stand there like, what -- Whoopi
Goldberg said, "She's Deaf. You can't yell at a Deaf woman."
And then, of course, they'd do this, they'd just make -- do pretend sign language, and
then I would look, and then they'd take my picture.
And then some more pretend sign language, and I'd look, and they'd take my picture.
They've learned this. They still do this to this day.
It works. It works for me.
For you to get the attention of someone who is Deaf, who can't hear, you just do this
or tap their shoulder or -- I mean, anything that involves hands movement or flashing the
lights, that usually works. Or throw something.
>>>Okay.
>>Marlee Matlin: You know, spit ball that way.
>>>Then one suggestion, and this is more for Ken, actually.
You talk about like, when you have captions, you -- sometimes you can can't really tell
which one on screen is talking. Since we have this automatic captioning technology
mostly related to voice recognition, we can probably also recognize the tone in the voice,
like the pitch in the voice to tell whether it's male or female or other traits of the
actors. Then, as you said earlier, we can font --
we can put different fonts. >>Marlee Matlin: I'd be really curious to
see that. >>So we can use a softer font when it's
a softer voice and use a square font when it's a strong voice, for example.
>>Marlee Matlin: Hmm. Go for it.
What are you waiting for? Thank you.
Thank you for your comments. >>>I am a father of five-year-old blind son.
So if you were actually back to five years old, what do you want to ask your parents,
what do you want from them mostly? Or -- sorry, English is my second language.
So -- >>Marlee Matlin: Mine, too.
I mean, I think if I were in your child's shoes, --
>>>Yes. Five years old.
>>Marlee Matlin: -- five years old. >>>If you were.
>>Marlee Matlin: What I would want from my parents?
>>>Yes. >>Marlee Matlin: I would say or ask for that
you take good care of me, that you don't deny me anything, and that you let me be who I
am. Don't try to restrain me from any experiences
in life. Let me go out there, explore the world.
Let me feel, let me touch, let me meet. Treat me as if I could see.
>>>Okay. Thank you.
Actually, captions are very helpful for me to understand English.
So I'm -- >>Marlee Matlin: See.
There you go. Thank you very much for your comment.
Thank you. [ Applause ]
>>>Hi. Thank you very much for coming here.
One of the things I find challenging about using video and audio content is how long
it takes to get the information from it compared with reading written content.
And I was wondering whether there's anything that you've been thinking about or working
for to enable basically the faster playing of captions or faster getting of information
from video content and audio content. >>Marlee Matlin: I'm going to give your question
to Ken, because he's more adept at answering that question, perhaps.
>>>He said the answer's "yes." >>Ken Harrenstien: The answer is yes.
We are working on it. We've got that going now for businesses, Google
Video for business. Do you want to explain some, Naomi?
>>Naomi Bilodeau: So if you guys look at our internal videos on Google Video for business,
you can see there's a slider that has a rabbit and a turtle.
If you slide it up to the rabbit end, it goes faster.
And this was worked on by Daniel Steinberg. It's pretty amazing.
If you speed it up audio normally, the pitch would be really high and sound like the lecture
was being given by chipmunks. We changed the pitch so it sounds kind of
normal. I turn that off, because it annoys me even
though we changed the pitch. I just watch the captions.
If you look at our internal videos from, like, our all hands meetings, you can see those
with captions and you can watch them at two and a half times the speed.
This isn't just an internal Google thing. Anybody who has Google Apps has access to
this technology if they turn it on. >>Susan Wojcicki: Have a question here.
>>Marlee Matlin: This is so out of my world. I'm so amazed.
But I'm learning. I'm learning.
>>Susan Wojcicki: We have one comment here. It's of (inaudible) who wanted to comment
on the previous question of the parent who has the blind son.
>>>Just to give a background, I'm blind myself. I mean, just to add to that, one thing I would
definitely like to tell you is, don't treat your kid any different.
Trust me, if you let him or her go, they will reach the extremes that will surprise you.
Don't treat them any, any, any different at all.
Because as I see, a disability is -- every human being has a limitation.
A blind person just has a limitation of not being able to see.
But, trust me, they can use their other senses to reach the sky.
So just let them go. Let them achieve anything and everything that
they want. That is going to be the most, most important
thing for them in their life. >>>Thank you.
>>Marlee Matlin: Thank you. [ Applause ]
>>Marlee Matlin: Just following up to your comment.
Thank you very much for your comment, by the way.
Just as you said, you know, all a blind person can't do is to see, and all a Deaf person
can't do is to hear. Otherwise, it's all available.
I need to ask one question before you do. Well, no, go ahead with your question first.
Go ahead. >>>Actually, I have a question, just from
a Deaf person's perspective who's here working at Google.
You know, I've been here -- starting as a young person and even now, I've seen many
challenges and seen how things have changed over the years with captions on YouTube now.
And with your presentation today, I'm wondering if you want to see more captions for Deaf people.
Like, in the future, in ten or so years from
now, what is it that you're looking for and ways that we can help Deaf people more?
>>Marlee Matlin: I get this question every day, because, as an actor -- in reality, and
I speak on behalf of all actors -- only 3% of actors work.
You know, people who are in the actor's union, only 3% of us work.
It's hard to find jobs, regardless of whether one is Deaf or hearing.
But if you're talking specifically about Deaf actors, I think it's probably harder.
I still struggle myself. Believe it or not, I still struggle.
As I stand here today, I had to put up my video in order to sell it, in order to get
people to pay attention to it to see how it would go.
A lot of Deaf children come up to me and say, "I want to be an actor like you.
How is it that I can do it like did you it? Or how is it?"
And I say, look, first of all, you need to finish school.
If you want to go to college, go to college. It will certainly do you well in terms of
your future. And then see what it leads you to, whatever
you want to be. I'm not the president of the Deaf world.
I'm just an actor who just wants to do movies. And I'm a person who also happens to advocate
on behalf of a number of charities, charities that I believe in, charities that I believe
need assistance or attention. And I struggle.
Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. But, you know, what, I get back up on my feet
again and I try. And I do what I can to find work.
And it's just a matter -- there are wonderful Deaf theaters out there, for example, in Los
Angeles, as well as the National Theater of the Deaf. Wherever you are in the country,
there are places Deaf people can go to school, colleges.
There are so many choices out there. As much as I would love to be able to own
a studio like Warner Brothers so everything is captioned and everybody can have access,
it doesn't work that way.
It doesn't work that way. By the way, my name sign is this (indicating).
There you go.
All right. Well, I guess that's it.
>>Susan Wojcicki: How about last comment. >>>Yeah, just one story that I remember hearing
when I was younger was, I went to go hear Vint Cerf, who is one of the founders of the
Internet protocol that we all use today, TCP, at George Mason University.
He spoke about his wife who was Deaf, but she got a cochlear implant, and the invention
of the cochlear implant they learned about on the Internet while they were browsing around
on mosaic Web browser, which is also very old.
But -- and this is just an amazing thing to me to see just the way that these technologies
impact our lives. >>Marlee Matlin: It's amazing.
Thank you. Thank you for your story.
See how technology has changed people's lives, and people are more accepting of others who
are different and working together and making things happen.
It's amazing. >>Susan Wojcicki: Do you want to -- last comment?
>>>Thank you. That was very inspiring.
Just -- I've always loved traveling and sharing cultures.
I thought there was a wonderful opportunity to share some cultural learnings here.
So I learned from a friend a long time ago that signing applause is this (indicating),
so I thought it might be -- for other people in the room who didn't know, I thought it
might be interesting for us to share the applause. >>Susan Wojcicki: Can everyone -- can everyone
say thank you? [ Applause ]
>>Susan Wojcicki: And I'd like to say thank you to Marlee for coming, and I'd like to
say thank you for the teams at Google that work on accessibility and for leading that
and for making this happen. It shows what a big impact you can have and
how you can use technology to make people who you never meet, people across the world,
make their lives better. So thank you.
Thank you for making this all happen. >>Marlee Matlin: Thank you, Google, for making
me find my recipes -- looking for recipes so much easier.
[ Laughter ] >>Marlee Matlin: Thank you very much.
[ Applause ] >>Susan Wojcicki: Great.
[ Applause ]
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[email protected]: Marlee Matlin

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Hhart Budha published on June 18, 2014
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