In a silent world there is one woman giving a voice to those who can’t hear. Her work and love for helping people is what Vamos Tampa Bay is all about!
Patti Sanchez is a talker. You may not hear her, but you’ll see through her hands that she has plenty to say. She works at the MacDonald Training Center helping those who are deaf and hard of hearing to gain skills and find jobs.
“There is a massive struggle. We are deaf, but we’re not broken. We can work at anything that we can do,” says Patti Sanchez.
Perhaps her most important work is with employers. She will go to employers, see what openings they have, and let them know if there is someone that would fit that position.
A lot of times all it takes for a company to hire someone from the deaf community is making a small accommodation.
“Because we may not hear, it doesn’t mean we can not do the job,” says Sanchez.
A job often done better than others.
“The important part is vision. We are very attention detailed, and that’s how we become successful. We don’t get distracted so we’re able to finish the job before our time,” says Sanchez.
Most recently she was honored by the Tampa Bay Lightning as a Lightning Community Hero.
“It’s like winning an Oscar award, but for humanitarian work. It’s a lifetime experience for me,” says Sanchez.
Well deserved for a woman who came here from Puerto Rico and saw the struggles for the deaf community in Tampa Bay.
“We have a deaf/blind lawyer. People are not aware of it, and that’s why I’m always advocating. I am the voice of the deaf and hard of hearing population,” says Sanchez.
Patti also spends her free time teaching American Sign Language classes. Her efforts have taught ASL to over 400 people, and she’s placed more than 100 deaf and hard of hearing individuals in jobs around Tampa Bay.