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Last Friday, Vancouver Community College welcomed Vancouver-False Creek MLA Sam Sullivan to the Broadway campus to take part in a special announcement of new funding for programs and supports for students with disabilities.
With podium, lights, and banners set up next to the poignant “Double Blind” public art installation, Sullivan and VCC president Peter Nunoda each shared brief yet motivating statements.
"Although we do have a lot of physical access, employment is still a challenge for people with disabilities,” said Sullivan, highlighting the significance of forthcoming VCC programs that will increase access to careers in automotive trades and food services.
Stealing the show, however, were two members of VCC’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, each of whom shared with the crowd and television cameras their personal story of education and success.
Signing enthusiastically as an interpreter spoke, Vincente Teng explained how accessibility programs at VCC allowed him to study digital graphic design, leading not only to a fulfilling career with a local company, but also providing him with the confidence to feel like a valuable member of society.
Ladan Sahraei then shared her story of arriving to Vancouver as a refugee from Iran, and how, over the past two years, she has come to thrive in her new home thanks to VCC programs offering both American Sign Language as well as English for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals.