‘Signing Santa’ brings holiday joy to deaf, hard-of-hearing kids

(Courtesy: WAVY)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – For many families, a visit with Santa Claus is on the holiday to-do list.  But for some, it’s not always easy.

That’s why the MacArthur Center brought “Signing Santa” to the mall.

Camron Ellis couldn’t contain his joy. It’s his third time visiting Signing Santa, but you wouldn’t know that by watching him.

“He’s just like any other little boy, very rambunctious,” said Temekka Ellis, Camron’s mother.

At five years old, he’s already discovered a love for music, even with cochlear implants.

Temekka said, “He is actually classified as severe hearing loss. He was born that way.”

She’s not surprised by her son’s excitement. “He has the ability to hear it as well as sign,” said Temekka.

Today, Camron joined other deaf and hard-of-hearing kids from across Hampton Roads to meet Signing Santa.

“It’s an opportunity for him to be around other children that are hearing impaired or deaf,” said Temekka.

It’s an annual event for Denise Becker, who’s been teaching sign language for 30 years and is currently teaching Camron. She said, “You need to treat them just like any other child.  They’re just children that have a hearing problem.”

She loves watching the kids form a community and their joy.

Becker said, “It’s the camaraderie to know that there’s other people like you and other families share the same needs as you.”

“Talking Hands,” a group of signing students from Lakeland High School also performed, proving the holiday spirit is for everyone to share.

“It brings me pure joy to see him here with his peers,” Temekka said.