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Josh  Feldman

Josh Feldman

Deaf LGBTQ+ Writer, Producer & Actor

Josh Feldman

Deaf LGBTQ+ Writer, Producer & Actor


Deaf since birth, Josh Feldman is a writer, producer and actor living and working in Los Angeles, California. He is passionate about telling stories that feature intersectional, diverse, LGBTQ+ characters. After growing up without seeing people like himself on TV and film screens or in books, Josh’s life’s work is to create characters that will ensure future generations of deaf children will never have that problem.

Born to deaf parents who stressed the importance of bilingualism, he attended Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick, Maryland where he continued to cultivate a lifelong love of reading and writing. Josh was recognized at age 12 with a Young Playwrights Award from The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. where he eventually went to college, graduating from Gallaudet University with a bachelor’s degree in English. He then went on to study writing in graduate school at New York University.

In 2017, Josh co-created This Close, the first major television show to be created by deaf people. It aired for two seasons on Sundance TV and was nominated for a Peabody Award as well as a GLAAD Award. In 2018, he won a Momentum Fellowship from the prestigious Sundance Institute. Most recently he served as Co-Producer for the upcoming Marvel series ECHO, coming in 2023 on Disney+. He had a script named to the 2022 GLAAD List, a list of the most promising, unproduced LGBTQ+ scripts in Hollywood.

Josh is a mentor for the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Labs, and he has projects in various stages of development with Amblin Entertainment and Sony Pictures. Currently he is writing a feature film based on Coach Keith Adams and the California School for the Deaf Riverside football team’s history-breaking run.

Working regularly with hearing people, through interpreters, Josh knows work and art for him are interconnected with education. As he fights for more representation in media through storytelling, Josh also wants to remind people that no matter who they are, what they look like, and who they love, what they bring to the table is invaluable.

Speech Topics

The Only One in the Room: Fighting Ableism

As a young kid and for the majority of his career, Josh Feldman never saw anyone like him represented in the media, film, books, television … or the workplace. He decided to do something about it. After being turned down numerous times when he pitched a TV show about a deaf, gay man, he co-created This Close—the first major television show developed by deaf people. It ran for two seasons on Sundance TV. But that was just the start. Today, Josh continues to be a successful writer, producer and actor in Hollywood. He’s also a staunch defender of the rights of the deaf and disabled.

In this talk, Josh shares his story and:

  • Why it’s so important for companies to hire the disabled and the benefits they bring to the table
  • How to push for social change
  • How to improve the work experience for both the disabled and abled
  • The importance of educating others about the disabled
  • How to find your voice if you are the “only one in the room”

Believing in Yourself, Following Your Dreams & Finding Success

When Josh Feldman was growing up in a small town in Maryland, he never saw himself represented on TV. And yet, it never stopped him from following his dream of working in Hollywood and reaching the heights of success. And that’s exactly what he’s accomplished. Deaf since birth, he is co-creator of This Close, the first major television show to be made by deaf people about deaf people. And, most recently, serving as co-producer for the upcoming Marvel series ECHO. In this inspiring talk, Josh shares his story, from growing up in an all-deaf community to being the only deaf person in the room and how he learned to be a member of two very different worlds. He also discusses navigating not only issues of ableism but also homophobia. For anyone who needs to believe in themselves and their dreams and to know that anything is possible, this talk is for you.

The Power of Staying True to Yourself

Until he was 24, Josh Feldman, a writer, producer and actor, did not write about deaf or gay people—two very important parts of his identity. It wasn’t until he finally wrote about a deaf, gay man (much like himself) that he sold his first TV project. In this highly inspirational keynote, Josh shares his story and how staying true to himself led to success. Even though Josh was fully out to his family and friends, he wasn’t out to himself as a writer because of the framework in his head from a lifetime spent reading and watching films and books in a heterosexual, patriarchal society. Once he started writing about himself—all the good and bad parts—the floodgates cracked open and he got to know himself both as a writer and a human in a brand new way. This speech is a shot of inspiration for anyone who needs hope or who wants to do the impossible and win.