Unheard Journey of Deaf Nebraskans

Peggy Williams,
Program Correspondent &
Mental Health Specialist

Nebraska Commission for the
Deaf & Hard of Hearing

The Unheard Journey of Deaf Nebraskans celebrates the rich history and culture of Nebraska’s Deaf community. Through historical narrative and personal stories, viewers will see, perhaps for the first time, how Deaf Nebraskans have contributed to the overall community and continue to thrive. Deaf people learn to communicate with hearing people from the time they are born. Yet, the hearing world perceives that they are the ones making accommodations for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

This NET Connects documentary produced in partnership with the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing features people who do not experience deafness as a disability, but rather utilize a different mode of communication. What they do need is to be included, to be seen, and to be acknowledged for their contributions.

Viewers are invited to enter the conversation with deaf people, whether it be through sign language, using paper and pencil, or texting. When they do enter the conversation, they will come to see the silent chasm between hearing and deaf people for what it is – a language and communication barrier - not a disability.

Jonathan Scherling teaching ASL class

Program production credits: 

Executive Producer, Perry Stoner; Co-Producer/Narrator, Peggy Williams; Co-Producer/Writer, Penny Costello; Sign Language Interpreters, Ben Sparks and Crystal Pierce; Videographer/Editor, David Koehn; Videographer; Tyler Kersting; Audio, Jim Lenertz & Erin Green; Finishing Editor, John Beck; Graphics, Scott Beachler; Interactive Media Producer, Steve Exon; Transcription, Pat Richmond & Jann Howard; Captions/Subtitles, Verle Finke & Renan Rieur.

Linsay Darnall, Jr. explains the history of the Nebraska School for the Deaf

Historical Photos Courtesy of:

Nebraska School for the Deaf Museum; Nebraska Library Commission; Scherling Family; Jerry Siders; American School for the Deaf Archives; Library of Congress Gilbert Grosvenor Collection; Library of Congress Gilbert Brady - Handy Collection; "Gallaudet University" by Daniel Lobo; and Nebraska Library Commission.


Albert Sparks (L) talks about his son, Ben, who learned sign language before he learned to speak

Peggy Scherling tells hearing people, "We won't bite you."

Peggy Williams & Jerry Siders discuss the meaning of audism