Blind student excels with support from Daley College, City Colleges of Chicago

November 24, 2013 (CHICAGO)

This year, they have awarded almost 4,000 degrees. One of the recent graduates has succeed in many ways, despite his disability.

Six months ago, Gerarado Salinas, 26, graduated with honors from Daley Community College.

"I decided to come to Daley College because it's cheaper, its more accessible. You can take as many classes and you can transfer these courses to a university," he said.

Gerarado, who was born in Mexico, lost his vision when he was 12.

"I had retina detachment in both eyes. I had six surgeries and nothing worked," he said. "A year after I lost my vision, I decided to come to the United States to Chicago for the American dream, for a better opportunity."

"I was unable to speak English. So, I wasn't able to communicate with them, and they were trying to teach me Braille and English, and I had a hard time," said Gerarado.

At age 19, Gerarado enrolled at Daley and got a lot of support from the disability access center.

"A person who takes notes in class, a person who reads you the exams and types the answers, a recorder so that I can record class audio books an CD, and help with computer software, like JAWS. That is a voice command that reads everything," said Gerarado.

Dr. Eduardo Garza is the dean of students.

"In Gerarado's case, what we're most excited about is that student with a growth mindset who sees obstacles and tries to find solutions, who builds that resiliency, who builds that sense of grit, which Gerarado has exemplified over the years," Garza said.

Gerarado is currently attending the University of Illinois Chicago.

"I want to be a lawyer, an attorney. I want first my bachelors in political science so I can be more familiar and be prepared for law school," he said.

"Gerarado has made us extremely proud, and we are very happy that we served him over the years and wish him nothing but success in his future years," said Garza.

Gerarado's is just one of many City colleges of Chicago success stories. All of the colleges have services available for students with different disabilities.

For more information go to or call 773-COLLEGE.

Copyright © 2024 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.