Halloween fun comes early for some deaf children

October 27, 2010 (CHICAGO)

For about three dozen deaf and hard of hearing Chicago public school children it was a morning of combining costumes and arts and crafts. The City's Office for People with Disabilities sponsored the event, and as you might imagine, this was not about sound, it was about the senses of sight and touch.

"We're very visual. So everything must be visual here," said Kate Kubey, of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities. "Some kids here only use sign language, so we have communication with them through sign language to be sure they can understand and participate with events that are going on."

The students are from three different public schools that specialize in teaching the hard of hearing. Some subjects can be very difficult for them, but they seem to excel in arts and crafts.

"We use that to teach them how to have fun. It's an activity to have fun. So that way, you know, they're not always playing video games or just bored at home ... they're trying different ways to have fun," said Kubey.

Teachers say this is the kids' favorite game: wrapping friends in toilet paper and turning them into mummies. It's the sight of a disappearing classmate and the feel of the soft paper.

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