Gilbert Delgado said he was introduced to the idea of conversing without hearing while watching childhood friends interact with their deaf grandmother.

“Even then I was intrigued by the way she was able to communicate,” he told The New Mexican in 2012, recalling a memory from when he was 5.

After that first impression of sign language in Santa Fe in the early 1930s, Delgado developed a passion for deaf education that took him from Northern New Mexico to classrooms around the world. He began his career captioning films for deaf audiences and later became the first Hispanic superintendent of the New Mexico School for the Deaf in Santa Fe.

Delgado died Sunday at 91.

“The Hispanic deaf community is neglected. That’s something he was

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