by Johnathan Moore ©
With deliveries all over the globe, Santa might be the world’s foremost polyglot, and his multilingual fluency does not leave out American Sign Language. At his post at Regency Mall in Racine, Wisconsin, Santa ensures that all children are able to deliver him their list. “I want every child to have a very special experience sitting here with me. Some of the children who can’t hear — I can sign to them as well,” Santa said.
There’s even a mailbox for more shy children who still wish to communicate. Santa explains, “I like to get lists, and if you can’t spell the word, draw me a picture,” as he spoke to the local FOX affiliate for a few moments. Santa understands that all children deserve to be included in the holiday tradition in ways they find most comfortable.
Seeing Santa provide inclusive experiences for children certainly strikes a cord, as he surprised parents in the U.K. by signing to their daughter last year in a video which quickly went viral and is making the Internet rounds again this year.
The Center for Hearing and Communication reports hearing loss in 5 out of every 1,000 newborns and 15% of children between the ages of 6-19, so for the near 3 million children in the United States with measurable hearing loss, an authentically multilingual Santa is that much more magical.
You don’t have to be Santa to promote an inclusive holiday season. A previous post of ours will get you started spreading holiday cheer in ASL with songs and holiday greetings.