Select Page

Signing in Puerto Rican

Dear Richard,

I’m writing to suggest coverage of a new Puerto Rican author, Dr.Andres Torres.

The United States is a country of immigrants. If we, ourselves didn’t come here from a foreign land, then our parents,grandparents or great-grandparents did. And when our family
arrived, they probably didn’t speak English. Imagine the difficulties they must’ve faced, not being able to communicate with others, and being so far away from home. But what if your
parents were deaf, too, and could only communicate in sign language? Sign language in their native tongue!

Dr. Andres Torres, the only child of deaf Puerto Rican migrants, grew up in New York City in a large, extended family that included several deaf aunts and uncles. In his recently-published
book, Signing in Puerto Rican: A Hearing Son and His Deaf Family, he opens a window into the little-known culture of deaf Latinos chasing the American dream. Though he loved his parents deeply,
he also longed to be free from being their interpreter to the hearing world. His story is unique in that his family communicated in three languages: sign, Spanish and English.

His parents’ deep involvement in the Puerto Rican Society for the Catholic Deaf led Dr. Torres to study for the priesthood. He later left the seminary as his own ambitions took hold. Dr.
Torres became very active in the Puerto Rico independence movement against the backdrop of the civil rights struggle and protest against the Vietnam war. Throughout these defining
events, Dr. Torres’ journey never took him too far from his deaf Puerto Rican family roots and the passion of arms, hands, and fingers filling the air with simultaneous translation and

Dr. Torres, currently a Research Associate at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City, has had a fascinating life, and I believe your audience would agree. I’ve
attached his bio and a book info sheet.

I’ll follow-up shortly to discuss a possible feature on him.
Thanks for your consideration.


Rosalie Roman


Article Categories