Susan Sabo

We find our way when we least expect it . . .

Looking for deaf man with two senior Dachshunds. Hi all, A couple of months ago I met a deaf man at Barker Field. He looked to be about 50-60. He was there with 2 senior long-haired Dachshunds (they were 18 years old). We were able to communicate a little bit by drawing in the dirt, but you can imagine it was frustrating to not be able to talk about anything. I've always loved the idea of learning ASL, and meeting this man was just the thing I needed, during these pandemic days, to do it. I'm 60 now, but I've enrolled in Reynolds Community College to get a certificate in ASL. I start next week with 2 classes and hope to be done in a couple of years. If any of you know this man, please thank him for me. He was the person I needed to meet at that moment, at that place, to turn my 60s into a new exiting time. Take care, Susan


Susan Sabo


Cory was so moved by the message that she took her own time to track down the poster to share her story with Reynolds faculty and staff.

The "Susan" who posted on Cory's Neighborhood site is Susan Sabo, and she is now a few weeks into her studies at Reynolds.

Susan Sabo wanted to know more about the deaf man she met. In turn, we want to know more about her. Get to know Susan in this blog profile . . . .

Susan, where did you grow up and what was it like?

I grew up in Los Angeles and lived there most of my life.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I started my career without college, as a secretary and receptionist. I've been an editor, writer, publisher, and now a photographer. I'm also a lifelong dog person and was a single mom at age 20. My body says I'm 60, but my brain says I'm 19, so I'm going with that. I dress like a 15 year old boy. I may age, but I will never grow up :)

What brought you to Reynolds?

I was looking for a comprehensive ASL course, not just an app or a couple of basic lessons. I really want to learn not just the language but also the culture. This is something to which I've never been exposed, so I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can.

What got you interested in learning ASL?

Learning ASL is different from learning, say Spanish or Russian. If you remove sound, hearing, from a language it really becomes a different world. It's like suddenly noticing a door that has been there the whole time, but never opened.

What spurred me to actually sign up was a chance meeting with a man at a local dog park. Although the park was crowded, he was sitting by himself at one end, and had two senior Dachshunds with him. I walked over and immediately tried to start communicating. We drew in the dirt with a stick and through body language, facial expressions, and some writing, were able to trade a little bit of information about our dogs. After he left, I couldn't get him out of my mind and I kept thinking about how much I just really wanted to be able to talk to him about his dogs. I learned they were 18 years old, but I didn't even get their names. And I'm huge on the dog's names. (I keep a running list of all the dogs we meet at the park.)

That meeting led me to download a few apps, which I found were really superficial. I did a quick search online, and that's how I found Reynolds. I was thrilled to find they have a program for learning ASL, so I enrolled right away, just in time for the fall semester.

What are your goals after finishing the program?

A lot of my work has been volunteer work; I've worked with MHA and a lot of dog shelters and rescues. In the past few years I've narrowed my photography down to dogs and volunteer work, and I don't know yet how I'm going to merge those interests with ASL, but I'm eager to find a way.

You are a photographer. How does ASL relate to photography?

I honestly can't say, I've just started to ask those questions. I've found some amazing deaf photographers through google searches, and I'm really anxious to learn more and maybe meet some of those photographers. I'd love to know their process and how differently they may work from a hearing photographer. I imagine some of the differences, and advantages, are profound.