‘Beautiful Signs’ Inspire Disabled Student

Chabeli Sanchez

“I enjoy looking at their beautiful signs,” said Jose Madero, a deaf GCC student, about his interpreters.

Madero, 27, speaks highly of one of his interpreters, who is coincidentally named Jose as well. Madero shares a great relationship with his interpreters. “Jose and I like talking about our parents and backgrounds, they both come from Mexico, and some of our experiences and hobbies we have,” Madero said.
“I am proud of him,” said Madero of Jose. “He has improved his (American Sign Language) ASL.”

Madero attended The California School for the Deaf in Riverside (CSDR) from 1996 to 2000. “CSDR has about 500 deaf and hard of hearing students from grades 1to12,” said Madero.

Madero later transfered to GCC from Pierce College because of an animation program he heard about through a counselor. Bumps along the way lead him to an interpreter who noticed Madero looking lonely and only having a few friends at the time. Madero said, “he asked me to join him in visiting a deaf church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a Mormon church. I accepted the visit with him, and suddenly I enjoyed socializing.”

Madero eventually converted to Mormonism in June of 2003, where he said that he found his truth in faith. He then served on a two year mission for the church in Washington, D.C. On the mission Madero was able to improve his people skills.

Madero is hoping to either transfer to the Art Center of Design in Pasadena after finishing up at GCC or to work as an animator at Disney or other studios. He is hoping to receive his associate degree and a certification in animation.

Communicating with a mother who primarily speaks Spanish, and knows little English and ASL can be tough.

“But she is my hero, she has taken care of me since I was a kid. It has caused me to practice my English skills and improve much more at GCC,” said Madero.

Students like Madero and many others here at GCC are on the right path to success, not letting a disability hinder their chances of making their dreams a reality.

GCC is one of the few community colleges to offer both basic and intermediate reading and English classes specialized for the deaf and hard of hearing. After completing these courses students are then moved into regular college classes. Once the student is moved into regular courses they are encouraged to enroll in both regular and deaf English classes so that any problems encountered can be dealt within a supportive environment.

There are many services that The Center for
Students with Disabilities offers for the deaf and hard of hearing, some include: deaf and hearing tutors, college success classes for deaf students, deaf culture club, ASL grammar classes for deaf students, and many more.

The Center for Students with Disabilities is located in the San Rafael Building, SR-238-1
For information or to make an appointment, please call: (818) 240-1000 ext. 5095.