McALLEN— Being born hard of hearing, Shawn Saladin of Edinburg remembers the isolation and lack of understanding that comes with being partially deaf.
Years later, and with several college degrees at hand, those struggles have given him the opportunity to represent students dealing with deafness throughout Texas.
Saladin, associate dean of research and academic affairs at The University of Texas Pan American’s college of health science and human services, was recently appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the governing board of the Texas School for the Deaf, where he will begin serving next month until January 2017.
TSD works as a state agency to provide education to children who are deaf, hard of hearing or with multiple disabilities ages until 21 years of age.
The school’s bylaws mandate five out of nine board members must be deaf, parents of children who are deaf, or professionals working with the deaf.
As a new board member, he said he wants to figure out ways to reach out to people in need, especially in the Rio Grande Valley where as many as 8,000 people are deaf of hard of hearing. Only a handful of them are students, he said.
“I want to show what the school for the Deaf can offer to the Valley,” Saladin said. “Make sure that all children end up with a proper education.”