Published: Wed, March 07, 2018
Technology | By Russell Knight

Rachel Shenton uses sign language to deliver acceptance speech

Rachel Shenton uses sign language to deliver acceptance speech

Chris - who is engaged to Rachel - served as director on the film, focusing on a deaf four-year-old girl named Libby, played by deaf actress Maisie Sly, who lives in a world of silence until a caring social worker teaches her the gift of communication.

Meanwhile, her partner Chris, who also starred in Hollyoaks, directed the project, which beat DeKalb Elementary, The Eleven O'Clock, My Nephew Emmett and Watu Wote: All of us, to take home the gong at the star-studded ceremony. "My hands are shaking so I apologize".

Shenton has become the fourth female actor to deliver their Oscar acceptance speeches in sign language.

"I made a promise to our 6-year-old lead actress that I'd sign this speech".

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Marlee Matlin, who is deaf, also signed when she won best actress for Children Of A Lesser God in 1987.

"Deafness is a silent disability". Overton later told BBC 5 live: "When we won I could see her up there jumping up and down and that was surreal".

"I don't how we're going to top this!" she laughed.

Admitting the win still hadn't sunk in, she added: "We were being serious when we were saying we're so honoured to be nominated, we really, really meant it".

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Shenton, from Stoke-on-Trent, was inspired to write the film by her father, who went deaf after receiving treatment for chemotherapy when she was 12. She followed through, and many in the deaf community are now celebrating her decision.

In his acceptance speech, Overton thanked Shenton - his fiancee. The couple thanked their parents for helping fund the motion picture, and friends and fans who donated via Indiegogo to raise £10,000. We should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper.

"My mum and dad made the cupcakes and Rachel's mum and her mum's partner Nigel sold them at their work", he said.

Maisie's family had recently relocated 160 miles from Plymouth to Swindon so Maisie could attend a mainstream school where deaf children are supported.

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