Signing Santa Is All Ears For Children With Hearing Challenges

DENVER (CBS4)– Santa Claus gave some children with special needs a chance to relay their gift list in their own unique way.

“I’m deaf and Santa understands our language. So Santa and I can understand each other,” said one child.

Signing Santa Claus visited the Cherry Creek Mall on Wednesday. It’s a tradition that dates back nearly two decades.

“Santa can understand you,” said another child.

Santa took his seat in the Ice Palace and visited with each child by signing.

“Last year there were two little boys who asked me how I knew sign language and I told them that I had two elves who were deaf and they showed Santa and you should have seen the look on their faces… there are deaf elves! And that was my favorite moment,” said Santa.

The first part of the day was reserved for school children who are hearing impaired. They came bearing lists of gifts and a smile when they realized that this Santa could communication with them.

“I think it’s very encouraging for children who are deaf or hard of hearing to see a role model that can speak the language that they know,” said one parent.

Signing Santa will be at the Cherry Creek Mall Thursday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

  • Elle

    This is wonderful! What an uplifting and heartwarming story.

  • Alice

    I love this story. It’s awesome!

  • Robyn Kuykendall

    This is a wonderful story!!! As a parent of a Deaf child, this story just made my day!! When my son was around 4 years of age his teachers put together the same kind of experience for the class and I know that now, at age 24, my son still remembers that event!!!! Bless you signing Santa!!!

  • Lisa Shaw

    For many years and occasions in Rochester, New York, a wonderful teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing named Harry Karpinski was a signing Santa. He warmed everyone’s hearts and was a great guy the rest of the year, too.

  • Celine

    For clarifications. I am DEAF, I am proud to be DEAF. However, we are not SPECIAL NEEDS. We are just as normal as of those who can hear. We are also not hearing impaired, we are DEAF and we liked to be called DEAF. This story is not even close to inspiring me because of those terms that the writer decided to use. It is nice knowing that there is a Santa Clause that can sign, that is true. Yet, be sensitive with what words you choose, we are NOT in any type of special needs program. As a great Deaf leader once said, “Deaf people can do anything but hear.”- I. King Jordon.

  • Misheal Greenwald

    In total agreement with Celine. I am DEAF..not special needs, not hearing impaired, and not uneducated. It’s about time for deaf children to be able to participate in what other children have done for years. I am glad that they can tell santa what they would like for christmas because it’s not much different than any hearing child’s requests. I wish for christmas more hearing people understood this and learned sign instead of treating us like we are ‘special needs’ (that is insulting).

  • Let it GO

    I had friends who are deaf when I was in grade school, and you are right Celine and Misheal about being to do anything a hearing person can. Though I think maybe hearing impaired refers to people who may have partial hearing, hence the impaired part. My sister is partially deaf due to a tumor she had as a kid in her right ear. Please don’t make this into political correctness, I understand that you want people to be sensitive to how you want to be treated, but at the same time not EVERYTHING is made to be aimed at putting down someone. I’m actually pretty sick and tired of people always thinking someone is out to offend them when that was not the case. If someone deliberately came at someone for them being different, that’s a whole different case. People need to relax and learn to let things go. You two have taken a heart warming story of someone who has taken the time to learn to communicate in only a way that these children are capable of and twisted it into a gosh darn “me me me” fest. Yes you are deaf, and yes you can do anything your heart desires. Good for you for living life and acheiving your goals, but stop raining on the true story in this article. THat good people still exist in this world, and not the stupid twist of word play you take away from it.

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