Daniel is a special education teacher with studies in linguistics and an expert on Mexican Sign Language. He has decades of experience working with deaf students and a true passion for helping children and youth with disabilities learn and thrive.
Perkins talked with Daniel about how being on campus has reshaped his view on disability, deafblindness, and what he wants to do when he returns to Sonora in May 2022.
Perkins: Daniel, what do you want to do when you return to Mexico?
Daniel: I want to open an educational space with quality programs in Sonora for children and youth with multiple disabilities and deafblindness. I will work collaboratively with the state’s Ministry of Education to make this dream come true. People need to recognize deafblindness as a unique disability. Many children are being misdiagnosed as either blind or deaf. The education of people with disabilities has improved through the years in my hometown. But being in Perkins makes me realize that there’s still a lot we can do better.
Perkins: How has your participation in the ELP program reshaped your view on disability?
I’ve heard before “Every child can learn,” but at Perkins, this phrase gets a whole new meaning. Now I genuinely believe this is possible.Daniel Martinez
Daniel: I’ve heard before “Every Child Can Learn,” but being at Perkins, this phrase gets a whole new meaning. Now I genuinely believe that this is possible. I have seen kids with multiple disabilities at Perkins learning and thriving.
Perkins: Can you share with us one thing you have really enjoyed at Perkins?
Daniel: I have enjoyed working with the students and seeing how they learn to make their own decisions from a very young age. I have worked with students in Mexico who unfortunately don’t have this freedom; some families continue to make decisions for their children with disabilities. Freedom is empowerment. Empowerment allows you to thrive. At Perkins, children are thriving.