Meet Natasha Ofili, the actress breaking barriers for the Black deaf community in new 'Spider-Man' video game

Ofili hopes the role will highlight the diverse skillset people with disabilities have and breakdown misconceptions in the process.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Natasha Ofili didn't have anyone growing up that represented her on television let alone in video games.

Last month, she became the first deaf Black actress to be depicted as a character in "Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales" video game.

Ofili plays Hailey Cooper, a teenage street artist who just happens to be deaf.

"People are looking at this game, there is this superhero person in the disability community that is being represented on the screen, it's a reflection of who they are," Ofili said.

Ofili hopes the role will highlight the diverse skill set people with disabilities have and breakdown misconceptions in the process. She says while she and her character are deaf, it's not what defines them, a message she hopes will resonate with others.

"The deaf and hard of hearing youth of today - I want them to persevere, I want them to have opportunities, and if there is a way to create opportunities for them to make their lives easier, that would be great," Ofili said.

Ofili's role brings representation to the Black deaf community, not often portrayed in the media. A movement to create more awareness and inclusivity has been growing with campaigns liked the annual Dec. 3 International Day For People with Disabilities.

"I hope by increasing the visibility people will finally see us and see us as individuals, not just as disabled people," said Ofili.

The actress is keenly aware of the continued struggle for inclusivity, but hopes more people will see her disability as just part of her story.

"When you see a character like Hailey people will say, oh 'She is human, just like me,'" said Ofili.
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