Archive for August, 2013


leadArticle @ Deaf Immigrants Event at Cal Baptist on July 28,2013

Website : Hector Project  (A non-profit organization that provides resources for Deaf Immigrants such as ASL classes, job search and referrals)

On Sunday July 28, 2013 I was fortunate to volunteer at the Leaders Empowering Advocacy for the Deaf (LEAD) event created by Immigration Law Offices of Hadley Bajramovic (ILOHB) hosted at Cal Baptist University. This is my second time participating in this event and each time I am blessed with a tremendous experience.

Speaking for myself, I often focus on the “don’t haves” in my life instead of the “do-haves”. This experience reminded me of the basic needs I have and the over and above indulgences I have compared to those who have less based on the status they have in this country we call so great. Side note: there are people who are citizens of the land of opportunity and their needs are not met, which is sad. That only those who the country deem worthy “elite” to have all the joy and prosperity that it has to offer and the poor, less fortunate, middle class and black sheep of this US must work twice as hard, live without and suffer to partake in a piece of the American Dream which never actually transpires. Back to the topic….LEAD.

As I volunteered as an interpreter, I learned so much about the level of language comprehension and expression in deaf immigrants compared to mainstreamed deaf society. I enjoyed finding creative ways to convey concepts of ASL at individual levels of comprehension. These types of encounters which were not always the case  opened my mind to developing my skills and enduring I provided accurate interpretation for the clients served at the event.

At the end of the event a gentleman asked if I could interpret for him with a police officer who was a guest speaker at the event. I cannot share to much of his story but the point that it was all too common of a story about law enforcement and the misconduct and treatment of people who are immigrants, have disabilities or are other ethnicities. His experience was sad but what is worse is the fact that as an interpreter, woman of color and a disability advocate it is difficult to not become desensitized when you hear these experiences. Law enforcement will not change but we have to equip special populations with tools to educate them and protect them against these encounters.

Law enforcement is not the only problem for immigrants. Side note again: Riverside Police Department shared that  police officers are no longer able to pull someone over and ask their immigration status (racial profiling) wish they would be the same where they would stop pulling over people of color based on ethnicity..any who…we will see how successful this is. Back to the other concern shared by the officer that immigrants are afraid of being deported or getting into trouble by being here illegally they are often victims of crime in which they do not report the crime because of fear and criminals prey on this population. The department is looking for ways to connect with this community to encourage them to stand up and speak out.

So many lessons in one day. To sum it up attending this event stimulated a desire to serve others, to appreciate the “haves” in my life, and as I grow in my field, life and educating others, I would like to remain connected to a cause that will make a difference for me, the community and the students I work with.

I  attached a Powerpoint of a presentation about working with disabled students K-12 and can be applied at the community college and university level too.

Special

Click on the link below to access the Powerpoint.

Disability Presentation