Deaf children can face a sense of isolation. But in the US, a police chief went the extra mile to bridge the divide over Christmas.
Source:
SBS
19 Dec 2014 - 10:03 AM  UPDATED 19 Dec 2014 - 10:23 AM

When six-year-old Sadie Adams sat on Santa's lap this year, it was the first time she didn't need an interpreter to be understood by the jolly man in red.

To her complete suprise, for the first time Santa was speaking in a way she could understand - in sign language.

"Santa knew my name because he knew how to sign it," she said.

Sadie's mother, Ronelle Adams, said her daughter couldn't believe her eyes.

"She literally stopped dead in her tracks and she just stared at him," Mrs Adams said.

"I felt like I was going to tear up also. I was very happy that I made her day and I made her happy."

In the little town of Westminster in Massachusetts, Santa has seen thousands of children over the years.

Police chief and resident Santa, Salvatore Albert has been filling the boots of the jolly man for 15 years.

Mr Albert said he wanted to be able to understand children who may sometimes not be heard and Sadie's mother taught him all the American Sign Language Santa needed to know.

"Once I started doing some sign language, she got to the top of the stairs and she was in awe," he said.

"She stopped, her eyes were bright, wide open.

"And then I said Merry Christmas... and I asked her what she wants."

Sadie quickly recovered from her shock and got down to business.

"I told him what I wanted... a kitchen and a baby."