Alumna’s Podcast Bridges Gap Between Deaf and Hearing Audiences

  • CSUN alumna Sarah Tubert is the co-host of a podcast called, “What the Deaf?!” — an original concept that relates to the Deaf community, while also giving hearing viewers an entertaining look inside her world. Photo courtesy of Sarah Tubert.

Every step of the way, Sarah Tubert ’17 (Liberal Studies) is finding new ways to show that anything can be done as long as you believe in yourself.

At the age of 3, although she was born with full hearing, Tubert was misdiagnosed with hearing issues. This led to a botched operation in which she suffered permanent nerve damage and lost most of her hearing. Throughout her life, she has been able to find major success despite this. She has spent time as an actress, a motivational speaker, and is currently the captain of the USA national Deaf women’s volleyball team. She was also able to attend and play volleyball at CSUN, which was her dream school since she was in the second grade. Perhaps her most cherished accomplishment is finding a way to bridge a gap between the hearing world and the Deaf world along with her best friend.

Together at the start of 2021, Tubert and her best friend Carly Weyers created a podcast for hearing and Deaf audiences that discusses a wide array of issues and topics. The podcast, called “What the Deaf?!” is an original concept that relates to the Deaf community, while also giving hearing viewers an entertaining look inside their world.

“My best friend and I wanted to show our audience that there is no right way to be Deaf in this world That we all have a story and a journey to tell and we are just two people in this beautiful world and so many others have wonderful stories to share,” Tubert said. “Carly and I are both a part of the Deaf community but we are two different Deaf women. We want to normalize and answer people’s curious questions that they have relating to the Deaf community. We created a safe space for our listeners to sit back, relax, and go on a ride.”

Tubert and Weyers talk about dating, childhood, their setbacks, and many other things that a general audience can relate to. Through fan mail, they also let their viewers be heard. The podcast informs the audience that people with different disabilities often struggle with the same everyday problems that others do. Tubert wants to show those with disabilities that they can get out there and achieve anything they put their minds to, regardless of the obstacles they may face.

“We need people who have a story to keep sharing their journeys because it’s those stories that will make a difference in this world,” Tubert said. “For whoever is reading this: This is your journey, let’s see what you can do with it!”

With her ambition to succeed higher than ever, Tubert gives a lot of credit to CSUN for everything it provided for her to explore and succeed in her many interests.

“CSUN was the perfect melting pot of both the Deaf world and the hearing world. They provided access and resources, and it was an environment that was familiar to me because I straddle both worlds,” she said.

Season 2 of the “What the Deaf?!” podcast will be released in July 2021, and Tubert also has a feature film that she is co-producing and acting in that is inspired by her life story. The first season of the podcast can be viewed or listened to on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music.