HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Hidalgo County Commissioners Court declared the month of September as Deaf Awareness Month during its Tuesday meeting.

Hidalgo County Clerk Arturo Guajardo, Jr. and Hidalgo County Precinct 2 Commissioner Eduardo Cantu sponsored a proclamation declaring the month be dedicated to deaf awareness.

According to a release sent from the county, the deaf population includes a wide range of individuals, ranging from those who were born profoundly deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL) as a primary means of communication to those with a degree of hearing loss who use hearing aids or other forms of amplifications and communication modes.

Deaf Awareness Month aims to increase awareness for the challenges faced by people who are deaf and to promote equal access to information and services for deaf individuals. It also aims to educate the public about the misconceptions about the deaf community.

Organizations and individuals from the deaf community attended Tuesday’s commissioner’s court meeting, including Gregorio Mata, a deputy county clerk for the County Clerk’s Office.

Mata, who is deaf, was the subject of a video that the commission played following the reading of the proclamation. The video depicted a day in the life of Mata as he works alongside his hearing co-workers and how he communicates with them and the public.

“We are proud to have hired Gregorio to work in our office,” Guajardo said. “He has taught us much about the deaf community, but mostly he has taught us about tenacity and dedication.”