Published October 9, 2023

They had been told “you can’t do that” throughout their lives. They've heard: That's too hard. Those stairs are steep. Reading is challenging. Better stick with a career that won’t be taxing. You’re in a wheelchair. Don’t even try. 

但是这五位加州州立大学长滩分校的校友并没有听那些唱反调的人的话,因为他们的残疾,他们无法成功. “No” was never a part of their lexicon, 这在一定程度上要归功于他们在海滩找到的支持和他们改变现状的决心. 

Through the efforts of the school’s Disabled Student Services (DSS)/Bob Murphy Access Center (BMAC) and their can-do spirit, Anthony Vasquez, a specialist in web accessibility; Deaka McClain, a public relations specialist who is an advocate for the disabled; Keyon Anderson, a Master of Social Work faculty member at The Beach; Caitlin Cutt, a Netflix producer of streaming mystery shows, and Mary Zendejas, a Long Beach City Councilwoman, have exceled in their chosen fields. 

BMAC, in honor of its 50th anniversary, is inducting Vasquez, McClain, Anderson, Cutt and Zendejas into its Hall of Fame in an Oct. 13 celebration. 他们独特的故事不仅在海滩引起共鸣,而且在整个社区和其他地方引起共鸣. 

“名人堂代表着在工作中产生积极影响的CSULB残疾学生服务/BMAC校友, whether it be personal, community, professional, political, etc.,” said Mary Nguyen, director of the BMAC. 

“At our department’s anniversary celebrations, we share their story and journey to show where they are today, what they have accomplished and how their lives have touched others. From hearing these individual stories, 我们看到残疾是力量的源泉,我们希望围绕他们分享的故事建立社区.” 

Their stories

Anthony Vasquez ‘10 

Anthony Vasquez
Anthony Vasquez

Anthony Vasquez could have studied French at CSULB. 但他从来不会在挑战面前退缩,他决定学习普通话. 唯一的问题是,几乎没有针对中国学习者的盲文学习指南和教科书. 

“I already knew Spanish, so I wanted to learn something different,” said Vasquez, who is blind and went on to earn a master’s at Stanford. 

Through the efforts of the Disabled Student Services, 瓦斯奎兹获得了所需的学习材料,并以汉语和新闻学双学位毕业. Today, 他帮助企业和教育机构实施有效的网页可访问性策略. 瓦斯奎兹还担任无障碍信息技术非营利组织的通信专家. 

“如果没有鲍勃·墨菲访问中心,我不可能做到这一点,”瓦斯奎兹说. “This is a great honor, which I did not expect.” 

Mary Zendejas ‘01 

Mary Zendejas
Mary Zendejas

Long Beach City council member Mary Zendejas, who had polio has an infant, is the first Latina wheelchair user to hold public office in the nation. 这位女校友长期以来一直倡导残疾人的个人独立, 为残疾人提供高等教育和高质量的就业机会. 

A strong supporter of the LGBTQ community, 曾德哈斯说,当她在海滩学校上学时,她从残疾学生服务办公室的人那里找到了支持的力量. 

“他们给了我信心去追求我想要的一切,继续前进,”她说. “They taught me that my ability is stronger than my disability.” 

Zendejas, who holds a B.A. 她说,她“非常荣幸”被列入BMAC名人堂. 


Keyon Anderson, Ed.D., ‘12 

Keyon Anderson
Keyon Anderson

作为一名高一学生,Keyon Anderson的阅读水平只有二年级的水平.  

But after being diagnosed with dyslexia, Anderson got help with his reading skills and graduated from high school. College, however, was still in question. The challenges were greater in higher education, such as explaining to each professor why he was a slow learner. 

At The Beach, he discovered Disabled Student Services, 是什么指引着他获得了社会工作的学士和硕士学位. 他后来获得了教育学博士学位,并成为了一名MSW教员和临床社会工作者. At DSS, he found tutors and extended exams that enabled him to succeed. 

“如果没有这些资源,我想我不可能完成本科学业,”安德森说. “对我来说,有了这些资源,我就明白了什么是服务公平,对学生来说是什么样子.” 


Deaka McClain ‘09, ‘16

Deaka McClain
Deaka McClain

Deaka McClain didn’t need help. At least that’s what she kept telling herself. Until one day, 她把她的书丢在了布罗特曼大厅的一个种植园里,意识到她的行动不便和学习障碍阻碍了她想做的事情. 

“It took me a while to get to that point,” McClain said. “I was struggling, but it was pride, I guess.” 

From the moment she entered the Disabled Student Services office, McClain, who was born with cerebral palsy and dyslexia, 找到了攻读新闻学学位和硕士学位所需的工具,并成为残疾人社区的主要倡导者. By using her voice, she has brought about positive changes through public speaking, storytelling and volunteering. 

But getting to that point was not easy. McClain applied to CSULB twice and twice, she didn’t get in. 第三次尝试时,一位辅导员建议她通过DSS申请特殊录取程序. 她仍然被拒绝了,但至少她找到了帮助她顺利完成必修数学课的盟友. On her fourth try, McClain received an acceptance letter. 

But her struggles weren’t over. She needed several surgeries, but still managed to stay on course and graduated in 2009, thanks in large part to her persistence and the support from DSS. 她说,被选入名人堂是她从未想象过的荣誉. 

Caitlin Cutt ‘10 

Caitlin Cutt majored in comparative world literature at The Beach, 为十年的真实犯罪播客和电视生涯奠定了基础. 

她在领英(LinkedIn)上说,她喜欢研究具有挑战性的故事,并“与那些发现自己的生活与不可思议的事情纠缠在一起的人联系”, and sometimes heartbreaking experiences.”

There’s a touch of irony there since she was born with a heart condition. 但这并没有阻止她成为Netflix剧集《lovesport爱博体育》的故事制片人,“与那些经历过情绪化经历的人联系起来,把他们的故事变成现实.