RACINE, Wis. – Santa Claus at Regency Mall knows American Sign Language, and has surprised hearing-impaired children with his ability to communicate with him. He works to make sure children of all ages and abilities have a wonderful Christmas.
Piled up on his lap, kids this holiday season are sharing their wishes with Santa Claus at Regency Mall — and Old Saint Nick is more than happy to field requests.
“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.
Santa is able to use Sign Language to communicate with the children who are hearing impaired.
“I ask them — what do you want for Christmas?” Santa said.
Many of the children are surprised to learn Santa knows Sign Language, and it gives them a feeling of inclusion and belonging.
“The children appreciate the idea that they can come and talk to me, talk to Santa without having to go through their parents or their siblings to interpret for them,” Santa said.
Parents have been touched by the gesture.
“I had one mother who was deaf herself back there and she cried because it is her first time as an adult she had ever seen Santa sign for her child,” Santa said.
There is even a mailbox outside Santa’s home at Regency Mall where kids can submit their letter to Santa, and communicate with him however they choose.
“I like to get lists, and if you can`t spell the word, draw me a picture,” Santa said.