Ángel Ramos (educator) : biography
Dr. Ángel Ramos (born 1949) was the founder of the National Hispanic Council of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Superintendent of the Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind, and was one of the few deaf person of Hispanic descent to earn a doctorate from Gallaudet University.
Ramos was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In the early 1950s, Ramos’ parents left the island and moved to New York City. Shortly afterward, his parents divorced, and as a result he and his sister were raised by his mother, who worked as a seamstress. They lived in a poor apartment building, along with a number of relatives. Ramos attended public school, leading a normal child’s life until 1959 when, while nine years old, he lost his hearing. He was able to hide his impairment from his mother for two years and from his school by following directions on the classroom blackboard and by reading his textbooks carefully. By 1961, he had learned to lip-read and this helped him to get by elementary school all the way to high school.
Ramos later enrolled, attended, and graduated Manhattan College in 1971. By that time, he learned sign language and while 21 years old, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. Ramos then worked as a taxi driver until he was hired as a gym supervisor at a deaf school — with his only pay being room and board. Eventually, he became a teacher at another local school for the deaf.
Ramos applied and qualified for financial assistance from the Division of National Rehabilitation and then attended the State University of New York where he earned a Master of Science degree in Education of the Deaf. He continued his academic education at California State University, earning a Master of Science Degree in Educational Administration. He then enrolled in the Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. and earned a Doctorate in Special Education Administration.
Ramos held a teaching position at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. He was the founder the National Hispanic Council of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Washington, D.C.. He was also a Fulbright Scholar, author, and chairman of various organizations.
Superintendent of the Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind
On August 1, 2001, Ramos was named Superintendent of the Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind, located in Gooding, Gooding. The school — with over 110 students in residence over 700 students through satellite centers in other parts of the state — is a state-supported public school for resident Idaho special education students whose primary handicap is a hearing impairment or visual impairment.
In 2003, Dr. Ramos published the book "Triumph of the Spirit: The DPN Chronicle", about the historic situation of deaf students at Gallaudet University.
In 2005, Dr. Ramos was appointed Superintendent of Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing,a charter school in Arizona with two campuses — in Mesa and Phoenix. After Former Principal Curt Radford resigned the position in 2007.
The Governor of Arizona Janet Napolitano also appointed Dr. Ramos as a commissioner on the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.