Actress and activist Marlee Matlin will speak at the Disability Awareness Cultural Dinner at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, in the Brown Ballroom of Illinois State University’s Bone Student Center. The event is sold out.

Matlin’s presentation will challenge audiences to advocate inclusion, acceptance and access for all people, and to live life without judgment.

Matlin lost her hearing at 18 months, but never let her challenges dictate her future dreams. At age 21, Matlin received worldwide acclaim as the youngest recipient of the Best Actress Oscar for Paramount Pictures’ Children of a Lesser God. She has also been nominated for her appearances in Seinfeld, Picket Fences, The Practice and Law and Order: SVU and starred for seven years on The West Wing. She currently makes appearances on ABC Family’s Switched at Birth.

Along with a successful career, Matlin has dedicated herself to raise awareness for many humanitarian causes including diversity, LGBT rights, domestic abuse, addiction and better hearing health for millions of children in developing countries. In 2013, Matlin worked with MEDL Mobile to create “Marlee Signs,” an app that teaches basic American Sign Language on mobile devices.

Entertainment for the evening will be provided by singer JP Williams, who lost his sight at the age of 10, and continues his passion for music and performance.

This event is sponsored by University Housing Services and co-sponsored by Illinois State’s Campus Dining Services, Association of Residence Halls, Tri-Towers Area Government, West Campus Diversity Coalition and MECCPAC (A Dean of Students’ Diversity Initiative).

For more information, contact University Housing.