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Rachel Shenton Used Sign Language In Her Oscars Acceptance Speech After Making A Promise To A Young Deaf Actress

Representation matters.

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The Silent Child took home an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film. The movie surrounds a 4-year-old deaf girl who lives her life in silence until a social worker teaches her how to communicate using British Sign Language.

Slick Films

Rachel Shenton, who wrote and starred in the film, went up to accept the award alongside her fiancé Chris Overton, who directed the short.

Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton attended the award show with the star of the movie, Maisie Sly, who is actually deaf.
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton attended the award show with the star of the movie, Maisie Sly, who is actually deaf.

Before delivering her speech, the 30-year-old actor issued this disclaimer: "I made a promise to our six-year-old lead actress that if we won, I’d sign this speech, but my hands are shaking.”

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

And then without hesitation, Rachel shared a beautiful message of appreciation, both verbally and physically using British Sign Language.

Rachel Shenton signs her acceptance speech as she attempts to spread awareness about deafness through her short film, The Silent Child. #Oscars https://t.co/WZlzqKh3Hl

Twitter: @Channel9

It was amazing to watch for so many reasons. It was powerful to watch the deaf community finally be included on such a huge platform.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

And because I've always be interested in learning American Sign Language, it was honestly just an incredible thing to experience.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

But Rachel Shenton wasn't just giving me the feels. She actually emotionally touched viewers across the country:

The Silent Child acceptance speech in sign language has me in tears. REPRESENTATION MATTERS!!!!!!!!!!! #Oscars90

Twitter: @TomDangora

YAYAYAYAY!! "The Silent Child" produced by @RachelShenton just won an Oscar. Sign Language at the #Oscars once again!!!!! SO PROUD of you Rachel!!!!!!!!!

Twitter: @MarleeMatlin

This speech in sign language is the purest thing ever #Oscars2018

Twitter: @TheCandaceLowry

THANK YOU @RachelShenton FOR RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT THE DEAF!!!! AND USING SIGN LANGUAGE! Congratulations!!!! #TheOscars2018

Twitter: @NyleDiMarco

FAST FACT: @RachelShenton SIGNED IN BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE during #TheOscars2018 I love it!!! AND YES, THERE ARE OVER 300 SIGN LANGUAGES WORLDWIDE

Twitter: @NyleDiMarco

the girl using sign language in the #oscars , a true icon. (their parents sold cupcakes so they could make the movie ???? God, i need to watch a silent child)

Twitter: @uniconr_tsuki

Rachel gave us a LOOK and sign language. Good for her.

Twitter: @KimberlyNFoster

sign language on the oscars!!!! during an acceptance speech for a movie starring a deaf child!!!!!! deaf representation!!!!!!!!!!

Twitter: @JessicaClones

rachel shenton's sign language speech was so important #oscars #yosender

Twitter: @bangchbang

Oscar winners to incorporate sign language into their acceptance speech: Louise Fletcher @Janefonda Marlee Matlin and now, Rachel Shenton #Oscars

Twitter: @dialmformovies

Love that Rachel Shenton from The Silent Child used sign language to make her acceptance speech more accessible. #oscars

Twitter: @anitasarkeesian

okay rachel shenton using sign language in her acceptance speech actuALLY HAS ME CRYING DONT LOOK AT ME

Twitter: @rachellobaugh

So, I guess what we're all trying to say is...thank you!

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