Ivy Velez

Intensive Care Coordinator working with deaf

You know I’ll kind of explain more. The languages are—have—pretty much the same foundation and Puerto Rican has borrowed a lot from ASL. It’s interesting a lot of the graduates from Gallaudet end up going to Puerto Rico to teach and so they brought a lot of their language there and a lot of the ASL influenced that and then the missionaries would come to the churches and spread throughout the island and they would be using ASL . So they would use some ASL, some Puerto Rican sign language, and eventually they would just blend together.

Ivy Velez was born in Puerto Rico and currently lives in Marlborough Massachusetts. She is an Intensive Care Coordinator and works with deaf families with children as part of a bicultural, bilingual health care program. In this interview Ivy discusses what it was like growing up deaf in the United States after her move from Puerto Rico. She shares her educational experiences, the differences between Puerto Rican Sign Language [PRSL] and American Sign Language [ASL], and how she assisted her deaf parents with translation.

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