Deaf children at California School for the Deaf in Riverside recently received the first-ever signing doll for the deaf as a gift from the local Lions Club.
The dolls have hearing aids and fingers that can be manipulated for sign language.
A member of the Lions Club in Long Beach, Rob Hartley, saw the dolls about six months ago and thought it would be wonderful if they could be given to children at every deaf school in the nation.
Hartley is a longtime friend of the family who created the dolls at Signing Works, a small business in Lodi, and he got Lions Clubs across the country to help distribute the dolls.
When the children saw dolls with hearing aids and fingers they could manipulate for American Sign Language, they got excited, school staff said in a news release.
“One of the first things seen was a deaf child spelling her name,” said Erika Thompson, of the school’s outreach department. “The dolls do work and they become the communication and friend of the child. The teachers love this as they can use the doll for teaching purposes and it gives another great resource to reach out to our deaf students.”
Signing Works and the Lions Clubs’ goal is to distribute 25,000 dolls this coming year.
To help with the effort and adopt a doll, contact [email protected] by email.