Was Sean Berdy Born Deaf?

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article, People
on January 15, 2014
Sean Berdy stars as Emmett on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth."

Was Sean Berdy on “Switched at Birth” born deaf, or did he somehow lose his hearing?
—Rosie Serratos, Wheeling, West Virginia

Sean Berdy was born deaf, but he also says he was born acting. His recalls his first stage was his parents’ bed, where he put on shows for family and friends.

“My parents said I came in acting,” he says. “When I was 11 years old, I was in a movie called ‘Sandlot 2.’ I loved that. From then, I just went on after that.”

As a youngster, Berdy also developed a fascination for magic. He became so skilled, he won the top award for young magicians at the World Deaf Magicians Festival held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

As previously mentioned, his formal acting career was launched in 2005 in “Sandlot 2.” He followed that up with roles in the films “The Bondage,” “The Deaf Family” and “The Legend of the Mountain Man.” In addition to films, he has been featured in numerous public service commercials.

In between filming engagements, Berdy toured the country, performing with several musical groups. His inspired dance rendition of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel,” performed entirely in American Sign Language, proved to be a tremendous hit.

Now, he stars as Emmett Bledsoe on ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth,” and he says he is thrilled by the impact that the series has had.

“It’s nice that people are learning,” he says. “You can go to a restaurant, a bakery, or whatever, and people say, ‘Thank you.’ They want to do some sign language. I will say, ‘Where did you learn that?’ They say, ‘From the show.’ I think that is so cool. It has had a wonderful impact.”

Berdy also worked on “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” where he provided an on-camera ASL performance in a picture-in-picture window that is displayed while the movie plays. It was an industry first.

The Boca Raton, Florida, native, 20, likes being innovative, and hopes to continue a career in the entertainment industry. He says, “I would like to keep acting and I want to direct, so I am hoping that I can direct one of our episodes sometime in the future.”