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Sign Language Santa brings joy and understanding to students

EL PASO, Texas - For over 20 years, the El Paso Independent School district has held a Sign Language Santa Day, drawing in dozens of dtudents who otherwise might not have another chance to talk with Saint Nick.

“Our students know that there is a Santa out there that understands them and can communicate with them. Just the fact that students with other abilities can say I know a Santa that is like me," said EPISD Regional Day School for the Deaf Coordinator Carmen Toriano.

Here at the Bassett Place Shopping Mall, nearly 50 students who have hearing needs came to enjoy some quality time with a Santa who truly understands them.

“Every single day I see her and she says ‘do you remember Santa is coming on Tuesday?" Do you remember?” said Josie Diaz Lopez.

Unfortunately such opportunities can sometimes be few and far between for deaf students, especially those who live farther away from the regional day school.

“I am very appreciative for all the school districts that send us their students," said Toriano. "This is what it is all about. Including everyone in the region.”

After the meet and greet, the kids were treated to a pizza party and then a show that had been put together by Santa and his helpers, all done completely in sign language.

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is an ABC-7 reporter who co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.


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