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Inclusion Tips for the Holidays

Tips to ensure you are creating an inclusive environment for children who are deaf and/or hard of hearing.

Compiled by Summer McGrady, Easterseals Washington Vice President of Community Engagement and parent of a wonderful little boy that LOVES all things related to the holidays, is extremely social & also happens to be deaf in a mostly hearing family. *Compiled with input from deaf adults, parents, online resources, Washington State Hands & Voices and the Northwest School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children.

Signing Santa

The holidays are here! For many families, this is a festive and fun time to get together and celebrate. Typical hearing children are picking up information about all that is happening and all the plans that are being made all around them, through general conversations, phone conversations, etc. Make sure your children who are deaf and hard of hearing have access to what is going on both prior to the planned holiday events and during too. Here are some tips to ensure that you are creating an environment where everyone can be included in the holiday events and the conversations surrounding them—this can help prevent your child from feeling frustrated about the experience(s) and ensure they are not left out. A little effort goes a long way in showing your child that you are truly invested in their inclusive experience. We all just want to be included.

As with all tip lists, not everything will apply to you, your child and/or your family. Treat this like a buffet, grab what makes sense for you now, knowing that you can always come back for more later.

Plan Ahead: The key is planning ahead and modeling for your child the importance of ensuring they are included.

Prepare Your Child:

Prepare Your Family:

Prepare Your Technology:

Prepare for Travel:

Prepare for Special Events:

Day Of: You have prepared, so you and your child feel excited about the festivities.

Have any tips to add? We would love your feedback. Email us at

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