Nyle DiMarco, a former winner of America’s Next Top Model who was also born deaf, is competing on Dancing With The Stars in the US right now and he sent Disturbed a personal letter asking for them to let him use their cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound Of Silence for his performance.
Disturbed granted permission for him to perform it on the final of the show and also shared the moving letter they were snet on their Facebook saying it was “a great honor,” to be asked to be part of the performance.
In the letter, DiMarco explained to Disturbed that their cover of the song “means so much to me” and that he planned to use it for a performance that showed the oppression of deaf people.
You can read the full letter below, but in short DiMarco explained how deaf people were “perceived normal” before 1980. He said that the Milan conference of 1980 “led to language deprivation” and they were stripped of their job opportunities, tortured and whipped if they used sign language.
While, things have clearly improved since then he wrote, “we are still trying to get out of the dark.”
To help with that he has founded the Nyle DiMarco Foundation and is working with senators in the US, “to write and pass the bill that requires bilingualism (American Sign Language and English) because it was recently proven by science that it will benefit the Deaf child a lot more than just English only.”
“We feel that with you, your song, and us, we will make/change history and help people better understand our history, and build allies all over the world to help better Deaf lives,” he wrote to Disturbed who were clearly moved.
DiMarco has since performed to the song on the show, scoring a perfect 30 from the judges with judge Carrie Ann calling it the best she’s seen in 22 seasons of the show.
Watch the performance and read the letter below.
Watch: Nyle DiMarco Dance To ‘The Sound Of Silence’ On Dancing With The Stars