When a child has a hearing loss, whether it is mild or profound, he/she experiences unique challenges. Not only is communication difficult, but the child's social, emotional, and academic development may also be affected. There are many deaf and partially hearing students in Puerto Rico. These students need individualized educational plans that address the special needs of each person. Parents need to be informed about the special services that need to be offered and how to access these services. This will enable their students to achieve their full potential in all areas of their lives.


The vision of the Christian Association for Deaf Education and Emmanuel Academy of the Deaf is to:

  • Provide Christ-centered learning environments for deaf people and their families
  • Offer preschool, elementary, and secondary classes for deaf and partially hearing students with excellence as the standard at Emmanuel Academy of the Deaf,
  • Provide Early Intervention Services for students and their families that will enable hearing and deaf family members to communicate with one another
  • Equip deaf people with skills necessary to be contributing members of society, productive citizens, and faithful followers of Christ

We believe every child and every family deserve opportunities to realize their full potential.


The Board of Directors of Christian Association for Deaf Education is made up of Puerto Ricans and North Americans as well as deaf and hearing members who are dedicated to the cause of providing a quality Christian education for students at Emmanuel Academy of the Deaf in Puerto Rico.


"When I met the people in the deaf community and had the opportunity to know the reality of their world, I could understand that one can see and be blind at the same time, and also hear and be deaf as well. Early intervention helps to remove barriers, to unite families, and to integrate persons who are completely able to lead a full life. I have witnessed how this relationship has changed my congregation and has changed the way I see, hear, and meet people. I am among those who say that I can see and hear, but I am missing the world of my deaf brothers and sisters. The work being done here in Puerto Rico brings together the family, the community, and the church so that we can all achieve our full potential. This program is a great blessing."


They brought to Him [Jesus] one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him…and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, "Ephphatha!" that is, "Be opened!" Mark 7:32, 34 NASB*

Pastor Ricardo J. Cruz
Christian and Missionary Alliance Church Vega Baja Beach
Member of the Board of Directors of Christian Association for Deaf Education

*Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®
Copyright © 1986, 1995, 1997
by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission

Christian Association for Deaf Education Board of Directors

Scott Bailey graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in graphic design. He is deaf and he is an Administrative Assistant  and Testing Assistant at the Student Disability Services at the University of Tennessee. resides in Knoxville, Tennessee 

Ricardo J. Cruz is the Pastor of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church at the Beach in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico where they have an interpreted ministry. Ricardo is hearing, and he his wife, Ruth, are learning sign language in order to communicate with the deaf people who are members of their congregation.

Jim Damewood graduated from Carson Newman University and The University of Tennessee Knoxville with an M.S. in Library Science. He worked at Walters State Community College for 30 years.  Charlotte and I have volunteered with Tennessee Baptists and/or the International Mission Board in China, Burkina Faso, India and Brazil. We have volunteered with TN Baptist Disaster Relief in Knoxville,  Louisiana, Texas and Puerto Rico.  We were caregivers for our parents and aunt from 2008-2017 and still help Charlotte‘s mom "age in place" at her home.  We are also active in First Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tennessee

Shirley Dubber is Principal of Calvary Baptist Christian School and Professor of Deaf Ministry at Calvary Baptist Bible College in Carolina, Puerto Rico. She is hearing, and she has taught hearing and deaf students in Puerto Rico for almost four decades.

Andy Garner is a retired teacher. He taught elementary and middle school students five years at the Arkansas School for the Deaf and high school students for 32 years at the Tennessee School for the Deaf. He is hearing, and he resides in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Jorge Quiñones

Diane Robinette is the President of the Board of Directors of Christian Association for Deaf Education. She is hearing, and a graduate of Carson-Newman University, Gallaudet University and the University of Tennessee. She retired as an Associate Professor in the Education Department at Tusculum College and she now serves as a Video Relay Interpreter at Sorenson Communications in Knoxville, Tennessee.