QUESTION: This Christmas season I read about a Santa who uses sign language. The article moved me to tears because I have a deaf niece who’d greatly enjoy such an experience. Is outreach to disabled children common or the exception? How can public agencies contribute? — Kathy, Mississippi

ANSWER: In addition to “signing Santas,” community organizations and businesses work together to offer Santa experiences tailored specifically for autistic, blind, and multilingual children.

So, yes, inclusion is possible in many ways.

Use your disability committee

Hopefully, your public agency, or one you work with, has a disability committee whose members include the disabled, advocacy organizations, and department representatives. Please use it!

Often, these committees are committees in name only. But they’re a wonderful resource for guidance, activity ideas, coordination and outreach assistance, and ensuring events and services are publicized and used.

Offer your resources

Allow public parks, buildings, and other spaces to be used for such activities.

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