ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Award-winning and deaf actress Marlee Matlin was at Nazareth University Saturday to headline the university’s Naz Weekend.

Matlin, an Oscar award winner and renowned advocate for diversity delivered a keynote speech for students, alumni, and families in attendance.

During her speech, Matlin shared her experience as a deaf woman in both life and Hollywood. She tells News 8 she hopes her speech inspires people to advocate for equity, inclusion, acceptance, and access for all people.

“The biggest takeaway I’d like people to have is to have greater respect for people like myself, deaf people, to be able to understand that we can have careers, that we have pursuits and dreams just like anyone else, a greater understanding of our needs when it comes to accessibility and to be able to be our allies because we still have a lot of work to do,” Matlin said.

Naz Weekend kicked off Friday and continues through Sunday, featuring food trucks, games, a fireworks show, and other activities.