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The Silent Garden

Silent Garden Lecture

Supported by the Silent Garden Education Fund through a grant from the Laurence W. Levine Foundation and many other friends of the Silent Garden, the Silent Garden Lectures bring education and awareness to the Central Valley and beyond.

The lecture series began in 2013 as a way to foster opportunity, understanding and awareness for the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Through an endowment from The Silent Garden Education Fund, continued support for workshops and other outreach opportunities for alumni, friends, practitioners, educators and family members are made available.

Sign Language

We are pleased to bring the 13th annual lecture back to the Fresno State campus!

"Building a Bridge to My Deaf Child's Success / ¡Vamos, sí se puede!" presented by Dr. Robert R. Davila, president emeritus of Gallaudet University.
Saturday, February 24, 2024   |  8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  |  Resnick Student Union at Fresno State

The in-person lecture will focus on Spanish speaking families of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, including those with disabilities. 

Registration details to come!

Keynote Presentations

  • Dr. Omar Ruiz
    My Road to Success / ¡Aun Se Puede! Mi Camino Al Éxito
  • Evelyn Pena
    Siblings: The Unbreakable Bond / Hermanos: El vínculo inquebrantable
  • Mark Apodaca
    Parenting in Multicultural Families / La crianza de los hijos en familias multiculturales

Educational Materials 

The first 75 families to register will receive free copies of:

  • "El Jardin Silencioso: Una Guia Para Los Padres Para Criar a un Nino Sordo (Parent's Guidebook)" by Paul Ogden, David H. Smith, Helda Pinzon-Perez 
  • "Digalo en Senas" by Lucas de Soto

While supplies last.

8:00 - 8:30 a.m.
Check in and continental breakfast

8:30 - 8:45 a.m.
Welcome remarks:
Dr. Kara Zografos, CHHS acting dean
Dr. Omar Ruiz, chair of the 12th Silent Garden Lecture

8:45 – 9:45 a.m.  
Keynote: Mark Apodaca
"Parenting in Multicultural Families” / "La crianza de los hijos en familias multiculturales"
(With introduction by Dr. Omar Ruiz)

9:45 – 10:00 a.m.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Panel of Latino Parents: Francisca Malcos, Lorena Alvarez, Roberto Marin
Moderated by Dr. Omar Ruiz

11:00 am – 12:00 p.m.
Panel of Siblings
Moderated by Dr. Omar Ruiz

12:00 – 12:45 p.m.   

12:45 – 2:15 p.m.  
Keynote: Evelyn Pena
"Siblings: The Unbreakable Bond” / "Hermanos: El vínculo inquebrantable"
(With introduction by Dr. Omar Ruiz)

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.      

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Panel of Successful Deaf Latino Adults: Brandon Marin, Giovanni Vazquez, Michael Davis   
Moderated by Dr. Omar Ruiz

3:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Dr. Omar Ruiz Wraps Up with Summary and Goals for Families to Embrace "¡Aun Se Puede! My Road to Success” [¡Aún Se Puede! Mi Camino Al Éxito

4:00 – 4:15 p.m.
Closing Ceremony with Dr. Paul W. Ogden

Additional Information

Registration and Fees

  • The Silent Garden Lecture is 100% free for all attendees. 
  • 0.6 CEU units available  for $35. 


  • Spanish, English and ASL interpreting will be provided.
  • Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided
  • Free educational materials, while supplies last
  • For questions or accommodations, contact Beth Wilkinson at


  • College of Health and Human Services at Fresno State
  • The Silent Garden Education Fund
  • Laurence W. Levine Foundation, Inc.
  • Robert and Donna Davila Endowment

Learn about our past lectures