They do not get it. I understood that they could not find any. They could have stroll up to Gallaudet campus, I'm sure someone there would have done the job. They chose to get in touch with talent agencies. These talent agencies are well-known for ignoring Deaf people's aspirations.
From: Hirschfeld, Marc (NBC Universal)
Cc: Olmstead, Kahlil (NBC Universal)
Date: Mon Nov 21, 2005 01:24:26 PM EST
I wanted to respond to your letter regarding your concerns about the actor who portrayed Lee's deaf girlfriend in the episode of Surface a week or so ago. For financial reasons we needed to hire a local actress who was proficient with sign language. Our local casting directors sent a notice regarding the upcoming role to approximately 50 talent agents in the Southeastern United States and only received a handful of submissions. Several were auditioned and the actress that booked the role was the only one that was the right fit physically with Ian Anthony Dale, who plays "Lee". We were told that she was proficient in sign language but clearly that was not the case and there was no one on the set to supervise her signing.
We apologize for her performance on the episode and will supervise this more closely in the future. Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention and thank you for being a fan of "Surface".
Executive VIce-President, Casting