The woman behind deaf and blind school’s English as a Second Language Program

When Betsy Sotillo-Gaura was a child, communicating with her cousin Denise Gonzalez was a challenge.

Sotillo-Gaura spoke fluent Spanish with her Cuban immigrant parents and brother at home and fluent English with her classmates and teachers at school. However, she didn’t have a way to communicate with her cousin. Three years older, Sotillo-Gaura was determined to solve the problem.

Sotillo-Gaura’s aunt contracted German measles (also known as rubella) when she was pregnant with Gonzalez, during the epidemic in the U.S. during the 1960s. Her cousin was diagnosed as deaf at birth due to rubella.

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