Sondra Chan was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and lost her hearing at 18 months of age due to spinal meningitis. Her journey to acquire language and navigate the educational system varied from the use of spoken language and at the age of 6 was introduced to manual communication in school. She relocated with her mother to Henderson Nevada and navigated the hearing world in a public school with interpreter support but without American Sign Language in the home. She graduated high school and attended Gallaudet University and finally found her Deaf identity. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and the confidence she needed to create lasting friendships that have influenced and shaped her life today. Sondra met her husband Norman while she attended Gallaudet and exposure to his Deaf family helped shape the language access she longed to have in her home.
Sondra has always had a passion for supporting the needs of the Deaf community. She has served several different roles in education and advocacy but her favorite job is being a mom to her two children. Sondra has most recently been a Deaf mentor for hearing families raising deaf children as well as coordinating ASL Storytelling and playgroups that include her own CODAs and the families connected to the signing community in Roseville, the suburb of Sacramento in California. These volunteer opportunities helped refuel her passion for closing the gap of language deprivation. Sondra recently launched a home daycare for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and children of Deaf adults. Sign 2 Me Daycare serves children ranging from 6 weeks to 6 years old. Providing a service to families that she wishes was available for her family when she was a child is incredibly rewarding and having an opportunity to impact her local signing community is very fulfilling and a small contribution to the big picture language access for children.