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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