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Empower Deaf Women to Build a Business

By Sharon Doherty, photo by Ceci Villa Franco

La Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende (EEE) opened its doors to deaf children and young adults in September 2012 at Calle Umarán 107. The education programs at the school are tailored to fit the unique learning strengths and needs of students with different abilities. A major goal is to provide knowledge and skills to each student to guide them to eventually live independently. This is the story of one student.

A short time after the school opened, Elena, a young adult woman, was curious about the school she had heard about from her friends who took classes there. Like her friends, Elena is deaf so in Mexican sign language she explained, “I was unsure how I would fit in, that my sign language would not be good enough.” Elena mustered the courage to ask if she might be considered for a part-time cleaning job at the school. This job would give Elena the opportunity to earn a little money to contribute to her family.

Later Elena enrolled in adult education classes at EEE with the aim of obtaining her primary school equivalency certificate, a dream she had thought would never materialize. For the first time, she is attending literacy classes specifically designed for the deaf and is making good progress. Elena’s self-confidence and happiness is in stark contrast to what it was when she first knocked on the school’s door. It’s obvious to all who see her smiling face every day that she has found a place where she feels valued and appreciated and is in the company of others who understand her. Apart from teaching academics, EEE encourages the deaf and hard-of-hearing to come together in a culture and community that is uniquely their own.

Recently EEE began offering vocational training classes to older students to help them acquire future employment. It turned out that Elena has an amazing talent for sewing! In fact, she has so much talent that the school has offered her a paid position as an instructor to other students a few hours each week. Elena exclaimed, “I now look forward to coming to school every day!”

For those considering making a charitable donation before the end of the 2015 tax year, please consider giving to Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende, A.C. Our projects have been vetted by Global Giving as a 501c3, which offers the added confidence that your donation is being made to a financially responsible and transparent, grass-roots non-profit organization helping educate children and young adults with special needs. Your US dollar donation can be made online, and Global Giving will provide a proper US tax receipt. You can make your secure donation and learn about our newest project, “Empower Deaf Women to Build a Business in Mexico,” on the Global Giving website, or read more about the school by visiting


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