Fresno State hosts special lecture for deaf Latinos

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno State hosted a special lecture Friday for Latino parents with children who are hearing-impaired.

It's the first lecture of its kind presented entirely in Spanish. The event is sponsored by the Silent Garden program which connects parents and children to services available to the deaf or hard-of-hearing community.

The program was founded in 2008 at Fresno State by Dr. Paul Odgen. He's the professor emeritus in the department of communicative disorders and deaf studies.

He's also deaf himself.

Ogden says there are few resources available to Latino families affected by deafness and Friday's lecture is a step in changing that. "We want to be able to connect with them and speak in their language with sensitivity to their culture and history," Odgen said through a translator. "Everything that encompasses it, we want everyone to feel a part of this community and a part of this dream."

Ogden says 50 to 60 percent of deaf children in the California school system come from Spanish-speaking families.

The keynote speaker was Irma Sanchez, a mother of three boys who were born deaf and the founder of a non-profit called Deaf Latinos.
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