'Sign-language Santa' gifts children who are deaf one-of-a-kind holiday experience

He said he hopes to inspire parents of children who are deaf to learn fluent American Sign Language.

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Thursday, December 15, 2022
'Sign-language Santa' makes holidays special for children who are deaf
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Charles Graves of Washington, D.C. visits hundreds of children who are deaf during the holidays to spread cheer with inclusion in mind.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KABC) -- A visit to meet Santa Claus can be a memorable experience for young children, but for those who are deaf, meeting St. Nick can come with a few challenges.

That is where Charles Graves comes in.

Graves is able to communicate with children who are deaf in the Washington, D.C., area with American Sign Language.

Graves visits hundreds of children who are deaf during the holidays.

"My wife encouraged me to give it a try and I put on the suit and I realized I felt something in me," he said. "I could see it in the mirror. I felt like the real Santa Claus. It was magical."

Graves also leads children through an interactive experience in a special ice cave.

He said he hopes to inspire parents of children who are deaf to learn fluent ASL.