Tampa woman hopes to open doors to employment for deaf community through book, ‘Breaking Barriers’

Patti Sanchez signing to a client off screen while shopping for shoes for work.

TAMPA, Fla. — According to the American Community Survey done by the U.S. Census, approximately 3.6 percent of the U.S. population considers themselves deaf or hard of hearing.

What You Need To Know

  • Studies have shown that Hispanics who are deaf face challenges revolving around education and connecting with their loved ones when they learn English and sign language at school
  • According to the U.S. Census, 3.6 percent of the population consider themselves deaf or hard of hearing
  • Patti Sanchez is helping her deaf community overcome the challenge of finding a job
  • Sanchez wrote a book, “Breaking Barriers,” to help employers understand the accommodations for those who are hard of hearing

Although there are schools that help to accommodate those with hearing needs, it can still be difficult, especially for Hispanics who, for them, it’s rare for educational programs to cater to teaching Latin American signed languages.

That’s the case for Patti Sanchez — although it may look like a typical trip to the mall for her, she’s there on a mission: to help her client find the perfect outfit.

“We came today to find a sweater that he needs for his new job because it’s very cold at the warehouse, and then a comfortable shoe, and it’s been approved by the vocational rehabilitation,” she said.

It’s all part of her job as an employment specialist — a job she’s been doing for 12 years.

Read on at https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/news/2023/11/21/latins-who-are-deaf-face-may-challenges-?fbclid=IwAR2FyrkOrTmkugFVAeMOaQUbs1IldosNcU4QQEFqYe0ppJWfgZZF30oWIGw