"Switched at Birth" cast and creator talk about the all-ASL episode

Switched at Birth promo shot

On March 4th, “Switched at Birth” will air a very special episode of the show that had some cast members feeling apprehensive. “Switched at Birth” often features ASL (American Sign Language) with subtitles in its episodes, due to the show having quite a few deaf characters, but the episode airing in March will be the first in the TV history to feature ASL only.

Lucas Gabreel (Toby) was surprised by the premise, but is looking forward to an easier work day. "My reaction was, 'Well, it looks like I'm not going to have a whole lot to do," Lucas Grabeel said. "I'm going to have some time off."

“Switched at Birth” creator Lizzy Weiss had always planned on having an all ASL episode air, but didn’t know that it would happen so soon. "I always thought would be a Season 8 thing when we're off the network's radar and to the network's credit, they were the ones that came to me and said, 'Let's do it now. It's an experiment. We're all sort of figuring it out as we go."

The episode is going to be told from the perspective of the deaf characters in the show, where the hearing characters will be seen from their perspective but not heard. Weiss said that this concept was a challenge to bring from concept to real life. "The writers and I were challenged to think in a more visual way because we didn't want it to just be a regular episode with a lot of captions, so the script even looks different. We're trying to show not only, 'Oh gee, it's really hard ... but, 'Hey, there are all these cool things that you can do in sign language that hearing people can't.' You can communicate across a theater privately and other little tricks. We're just having fun with it."

Are you looking forward to the all ASL episode in the spring?

- Switched at Birth
- Lizzy Weiss
- Lucas Grabeel
- Freeform

Written by: harrisr
Jan 21st, 2013, 4:26 am


Message Posted On Mar 15th, 2013, 9:57 pm
Despite the TeleNovela aspect of the show, it is wonderful to have a loose form (at least) of a course in ASL. I hope this show will last many years, and continue to promote not only ASL and Deaf culture, but also give an impetus to the networks to make more shows and movies in the aspect of Sign Language.

Message Posted On Jan 29th, 2013, 2:42 pm
I sign to my hearing child and enjoy the program. Eager to see how much more I can learn.

Message Posted On Jan 24th, 2013, 1:05 pm
This is so amazing! I am a hearing ASL student and this is so exciting. There really is not that much out there for deaf movies and this show will not only educate hearing ppl but is also awesome for the deaf. Cant wait!

Message Posted On Jan 23rd, 2013, 11:51 pm
I suppose it serves an educational, noble purpose. Since I'm 76 and don't sign, I will miss most of it. Subtitles would be appreciated. Sorry if I seem to be spoiling the party.

Message Posted On Jan 22nd, 2013, 3:06 am
I think its a good idea, always love experiments, but I also think that at the very least, captioning should be an option. CT

Level 1 (78%)
Since: 08/Aug/10
Message Posted On Jan 21st, 2013, 6:12 am

Would be awesome to include BSL character so that would give everyone some ideas that sign language isn't the same between UK and USA!

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