Yes, Camryn Manheim Is Actually Fluent in ASL in Real Life — Here’s Why (DETAILS)

The Law & Order actress is an advocate for the deaf community.

Camryn Manheim (Kate Dixon) has a very useful skill that came in handy while filming a recent episode of Law & Order.

In Season 23, Episode 11 of (titled “Castle in the Sky”), a security guard was accused of killing a wealthy condominium developer. When the security guard, Ryan Marley, was brought in for questioning, the single dad was forced to bring his pre-teen deaf daughter, Alex, into the precinct with him.

Then, Dixon’s adult son, Patrick Dixon (James Caverly) makes his first on-screen appearance. Patrick is currently a teacher at The School for the Deaf, and happens to be deaf himself. He stops by the precinct because Alex is his student, and reached out to him to get support during the stressful situation.

Camryn Manheim speaks sign language on Law & Order

When Patrick shows up, he and Kate then communicate via American Sign Language (ASL).

“What’s going on? What’re you doing here?” she asks Patrick.

“Alex Marley is one of my students,” Patrick responds. “Ryan called me, asked me to come. They don’t have any other family to reach out to.”

Manheim is truly dedicated to her craft, as she also happens to be fluent in American Sign Language in real life. According to TODAY, the actress studied sign language in community college, and is a huge advocate for the deaf community.

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Patrick and Kate Dixon on Law And Order Episode 2311

Patrick Dixon (James Caverly) and Kate Dixon (Camryn Manheim) on Season 23 Episode 11. Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

“I’m fluent in sign language and I was an interpreter for many years and I love to act,” she said at 2022 press junket, according to TODAY. “So to bring those all together was very special.”

Kate Dixon using ASL in the Law & Order universe

This isn’t the only time we’ve seen Manheim use her American Sign Language skills as Lieutenant Dixon. In a special crossover moment on Season 24, Episode 10 (titled “Jumped In”) of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Dixon makes an appearance to help Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) interpret the testimonies of a group of deaf school girls who were sexually assaulted.

Back in 2022, we also caught a glimpse of Dixon using sign language during Season 22, Episode 3 (“Camouflage”) of Law & Order. There, a young girl happened to be deaf and needed to be questioned, to which Dixon steps in with her ASL skills.

Law And Order 2311 Kate Dixon

Kate Dixon (Camryn Manheim) on Season 23 Episode 11. Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

“We didn’t make a big deal about it,” Manheim explained to TODAY of filming the episode. “It wasn’t about them being deaf. They just happened to be someone we were questioning. And then we just move right back on because no big whoop like it is in real life.”

“People have deaf children. People are deaf. There’s deaf families,” she added. “So I’m really grateful that they were able to incorporate it.”

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