UTRGV administrator reappointed to deaf panel

A local health academic has been reappointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to sit among eight on the Governing Board of the Texas School for the Deaf.

Abbott announced his reappointment of Shawn Saladin, UTRGV associate vice president for Faculty Health Affairs, in a news release Wednesday. Saladin has also volunteered with organizations to assist with rehabilitation and training for interpretation, according to the release.

The Texas School for the Deaf is a state agency that provides accessible and quality education for students who are deaf or are hard of hearing, according to the agency’s website. The school also advocates for educational services and resources across the state for professionals and family.

The appointments are subject to Senate confirmation, according to the release.

Saladin sees education as “the key to success going forward” for students. The impact is not only in the capital, but reverberates throughout the state, he said.

The board oversees the finances, policies and personnel, and as current vice president, Saladin leads meetings in the absence of the board president, he said.

As a person with hearing loss and years of experience in advocating for disabled people in some capacity, he hopes he can continue to facilitate development and educational goals for students.

Language development, college-preparedness and expanding the amount of mentors for students who are deaf or hard of hearing are all part of the board’s goals, he said. Other programs, such as studying abroad, are also on the board’s radar.

“I’m just looking forward to working with the board members, the past members [and] incoming board members, and to continue our positive trajectory on improving educational opportunities for our students,” he said.

Saladin will serve on the board through January 2023.