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Wednesday 22 January 2020
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Christmas cheer in sign language

Treat for hearing impaired children

Students from Audrey Jeffers School for the Deaf send their love at the TT Association for the Hearing Impaired Christmas party, held in association with Quota International, at Dretchi, Port of Spain on Thursday.  - SUREASH CHOLAI
Students from Audrey Jeffers School for the Deaf send their love at the TT Association for the Hearing Impaired Christmas party, held in association with Quota International, at Dretchi, Port of Spain on Thursday. - SUREASH CHOLAI

The TT Association for the Hearing Impaired (TTAHI) and Quota TT collaborated, this year, to host the second edition of Christmas Comes to TTAHI on Thursday at Dretchi, Port of Spain.

The event, also known as Signing Santa, aims to enhance the Christmas experience for children with hearing loss.

President of Quota TT, Michelle Low Chew Tong, wants children with hearing loss to know that they can enjoy all the Christmas festivities including communicating with Santa.

Students from Audrey Jeffers School for the Deaf at the TT Association for the Hearing Impaired Christmas party, held in association with Quota International, at Dretchi, Port of Spain on Thursday. - SUREASH CHOLAI

"For children this holiday means so much more. This is the time of year where they meet the one person who does it all, Santa Claus.

"They have the chance to meet and share their wishlist with him but not everyone can actually speak to Santa," said Tong.

And that is where the Signing Santa event comes in.

"We wanted them (children with hearing loss) to have a place where they can communicate with Santa using sign language.

Monsignor Martin Sirju joins children from Audrey Jeffers and Cascade Schools for the Deaf at the TT Association for the Hearing Impaired Christmas party, held in association with Quota International, at Dretchi, Port of Spain on Thursday. - SUREASH CHOLAI

"We wanted them to know that we are all the same, that we just have different access to communication and at this event it was important for them to see that they are not alone."

The day's activity included the arrival of Santa and the distribution of toys, snacks, food and drinks. Students from the Audrey Jeffers School of the Deaf and Cascade School for the Deaf sang and danced to local Christmas songs.

"This event is for you to know that you have access to your own community and your own language," said Tong.

"It is our hope that this event allows you, the children, to be expressive about who you are."

Students from the Cascade School for the Deaf perform a dance to parang at the TT Association for the Hearing Impaired Christmas party, held in association with Quota International, at Dretchi, Port of Spain on Thursday. - SUREASH CHOLAI

Monsignor Martin Sirju blessed the Dretchi Nativity creche.

Quota TT is the local arm of Quota International which is a global nonprofit organisation seeking to empower women, children, the deaf and hard at hearing, and people with speech difficulties.

The Signing Santa event is hosted by other Quota International clubs in nearly 100 communities, around the world, for children with hearing loss, during the Christmas season.

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