COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A local choir is spreading holiday cheer in a unique way and performing holiday songs in a way you probably haven’t seen before.
Signs of Christmas performs Christmas favorites using American Sign Language at malls, schools, nursing homes and churches all across central Ohio every December. The organization started in 1980 with just a handful of members. Today, it has grown to over 250 volunteers.
“Everyone is so welcoming to us, I think it just fills our heart to see that happening and giving back to our community,” said Signs of Christmas Director Andrea Kupar.
Kupar said the group’s mission is to promote awareness about the deaf and hard of hearing community and to help spread holiday cheer a little further.
“They kind of don’t know what we do until they see it and then we hear they’ve never seen anything like it before, that we’ve really added something special to their Christmas spirit,” she said. “Christmas music is such a part of the folks who can hear. It’s such a part of our childhood, our upbringing, our Christmas experience, so for folks who are deaf or hard of hearing, this helps them have the same experience we had.”
For the choir members themselves, the performances are a way to celebrate the holidays and show that anyone can enjoy sign language.
“I am a deaf individual, so I feel using ASL at Christmastime is beautiful,” said Signs of Christmas member Cameron Smith. “I want to show people that ASL is a beautiful language, [and] that we should value it.”
Signs of Christmas will be performing in the Columbus area on Dec. 15, Dec. 16 and Dec. 17. To view their schedule, visit their website at www.signsofchristmas.org.