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Multicultural - Hispanic or Latino Deaf Community

Fast-Growing Segment of the Deaf Community


Updated April 24, 2011

Mexican Child

Mexican Child

Photo © Flickr user Mr TGT
The nation's deaf Latino (or Hispanic) community is continuing to grow, with more conferences, organizations, and websites about deaf Latinos. A good portion of future growth in deaf and hard of hearing organization membership may come from the Latino community.

Deaf Latino Organizations

The National Council of Hispano Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NCHDHH) has evolved from past organizational efforts in the deaf latino community. It currently has a headquarters office at the New Mexico School for the Deaf in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Some states have deaf Latino associations. Known state deaf Latino associations to date include the Wisconsin Hispanic Association of the Deaf, the Texas Latino Council of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Illinois Deaf Latino Association, and the Latino Deaf and Hard of Hearing Assocation of the Metropolitan DC Area, Inc.

Some colleges have deaf Latino organizations. For example, the Rochester Institute of Technology has a Hispanic Deaf Club. Gallaudet University has a Latino Student Union.

Deaf Latino Conferences

The deaf Latino community holds conferences. The NCHDHH announces conference information on its website. Some state organizations also hold their own conferences.

Deaf Latino Role Models

Perhaps the best known deaf Latino role model is Gallaudet University president, Robert R. Davila. Dr. Davila grew up in a migrant family, and his life and achievements are chronicled in the book Moments of Truth: Robert R. Davila Compare Prices, published by RIT Press.

Additional Deaf Latino Resources

Some states have organizations that offer services to deaf Latinos. One such organization is Deaf Counseling, Advocacy, and Referral Agency (DCARA) based in in San Leandro, California, which has a Foreign-Born Deaf Program. A good resource for parents of deaf and hard of hearing Latino children is Signing Fiesta. This organization sells Spanish and English sign language videos and books, including a video on visiting the audiologist. Signing Fiesta currently offers unique titles such as Historia De La Education De Los Sordos En Mexico Y Lenguaje Por Senas Mexicano, about deaf education in Mexico.

The National Multicultural Interpreter Project, a project that ended in 2000, has a downloadable outline and lecture notes that are part of a curriculum on cultural awareness and sensitivity, Section VI: Hispanic/Latino(a) Knowledge and Sensitivity. Finally, the University of Arkansas Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Persons who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing has a web bibliography of articles on deaf and Latino people.

Are you deaf and Latino? Have you read Dr. Davila's biography? Discuss your experience as a deaf Latino on the About.com: Deafness forum

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