Signing Santa makes special visit to deaf and hard of hearing c - FOX 5 KRBK is Springfield MO source for News and Weather

Signing Santa makes special visit to deaf and hard of hearing children

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(Springfield, Mo.--12/01/17) Santa clause gave some children with special needs a chance to relay their gift list in their own unique way.

He looks like any other Santa, but these kids will tell you he's the real deal.

"It’s precious to watch the little kids and to see their faces. I watched one earlier and all she could say this is Santa, this is Santa. She couldn’t even say her list," explains Linda Cheek, President and CO-Found of the Deaf Awareness Group of Southwest Missouri.

He not only knows if they've been bad or good, but how to ask them in a way they understand.

"It’s what we’re all about. Is to bring awareness to the hearing population, deaf people can do anything."

Santa is fluent in every language, including sign language.

"It just brings great joy to my heart."

She says children with hearing impairments were able to share their Christmas lists with a signing Santa at Bass Pro.

"All of these kids could not go anywhere else in Springfield and find a signing Santa."

All of the children are deaf or hard of hearing. Parents say the annual signing with santa event makes everyone feel included.

Justin Slye, parent of a hard of hearing child, tells FOX5 "It’s just wonderful that Bass Pro puts on an event to people that might normally feel uncomfortable, feel very welcomed and very part of a very important part of our lives which is the Christmas season."

Parents like Slye whose child is hard of hearing says it brings joy to watch his daughter throughout this magical experience.

"Seeing the joy on everyone’s faces when they come here and being able to communicate with Santa on a level that they might be able to at a lot of opportunities and it just means a lot."

He adds it's encouraging for children who are hearing impaired to see a role model that can speak the language that they know.

"It shows them that there’s nothing wrong with them. They are just as important as everybody else and we want them to have the same experiences that all children have and not to feel that they are different."

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