Dr. Tomás García is a full-time faculty member teaching American Sign Language in the department of Foreign Languages at East Los Angeles Community College.
Dr. García is also Director of Ministries at Holy Angels Catholic Church of the Deaf providing leadership to the organization's Sunday ministries.
Tomás' background and experience is well-grounded with strong foundations in the K-12 and higher education setting. He has worked as a faculty member in the Department of Special Education at California State University, Northridge, was Associate Director of Internships at Loyola Marymount University, was Director of Instruction at the California School for the Deaf, Riverside, and was a teacher of the Deaf at Covina-Valley Unified School District.
Tomás is trilingual, and fluent in Spanish, English, and American Sign Language. He has used these skills as a trilingual interpreter, consultant, translator, and parent instructor in educational and other settings.
Dr. García was born in Compton, California with a severe hearing loss and progressively lost it through the course of his early childhood. Tomás hearing loss was not new to his family. On his mothers side, he already had several cousins who communicated in American Sign Language. Having a Deaf grandfather and a Deaf mother allowed Tomás to face the world with a significant amount of support.
Dr. García's first language was Spanish. Day by day, night by night, he learned to speak, read, and write Spanish fluently. Upon entering school, he learned American Sign Language and English simultaneously.
Dr. Garcia has given a number of professional presentations at conferences and workshops. Examples of work in this area include presentations on integrating technology into the classroom, using the Internet to enhance the deaf
education curriculum, family values and deaf children, multicultural issues in deaf education, and various transition topics.
Tomás received his doctorate in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University, holds a Masters degree from California State University, Northridge in Special Education and two Bachelors degrees from California State University, Dominguez Hills in Spanish Language & Literature and Chicano/Chicana Studies. Lastly, Dr. García holds teaching and administrative services credential.
Tomás has been married to Sylvia García, a Parent Infant teacher for Deaf and hard of hearing students at the Los Angeles Unified School District, for 16 years. They have two beautiful children, Xóchitl, age 8 who is Deaf and Ixtli, age 6 who has mild sensory integration disorder. The experience of raising children who are diverse has served as a source of inspiration to many families in Southern California as they share their strategies, ideas, and words of wisdom.