Inclusion Matters in “Feeling Through” with First DeafBlind Actor

In 18 minutes, Director/Writer Doug Roland manages to capture your heart and leave you breathless with hope for the future. Just like his previous short film, Jada, Feeling Through shares not one but two inspiring stories that happen to intertwine one evening.

Feeling Through is a touching story of a young man, played by Steven Prescod, struggling on the streets and his late-night encounter with a deaf and blind man, played by Robert Tarango, trying to get home.

Robert Tarango was born deaf but with 20/20 vision. When he was attending college, he developed Usher Syndrome that damaged his vision, and he is now legally blind. Tarango has always wanted to act, and he got his big break when Roland visited the Hellen Keller National Center in New York.

Watch: Feeling Through online here

Tereek is looking for a place to sleep presumably because he is homeless or avoiding his home life. When he notices a man holding a sign. It’s very late in the evening, and there aren’t many people around to help the gentleman to the bus stop to make it home.

Tereek shows kindness when he couldn’t have easily walked away. He also pushes others around him to show the same kindness. It’s this level of selflessness and empathy that offers a glimmer of hope in society. The idea that you can pay it forward in simple gestures and learn something new along the way.

Artie puts his full trust in the strangers of the city. Having Tarango play Artie brings a new level of inclusion to the film industry. Much like Coda is making waves for fetching the highest distribution price by AppleTV+, Feeling Through is giving actors a place in the industry.

The chemistry between Tarango and Prescod jumps off the screen into your heart. Prescod clearly put in a lot of work with the Helen Keller Services to make sure his lines were communicated to Tarango properly.

I highly suggest checking out the Feeling Through YouTube channel to watch behind-the-scenes and a documentary about making the film. It’s inspiring to see the team of interpreters that help to guild Tarango and director Doug Roland while filming.

Feeling Through has won many festival awards and is now nominated for an Academy Award.

This coming of age story follows Tereek, a teen wandering the streets of New York, desperate for a place to crash when he encounters Artie, a DeafBlind man in need of help getting home. What begins as an awkward meeting between strangers quickly becomes an intimate bond between friends and a journey that forever changes Tereek.

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle. Buy me a coffee

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