Some people regard Disney World and all of its incarnations as a magical place because of its whimsical look, its fairy tales come to life, and the jubilant characters that fill the pathways. However, one little girl is experiencing the magic for an entirely different reason. The video, a part of Disney Parks’ “Unforgettable Stories” series, introduces us to Shaylee Mansfield. Both her mother and father are deaf, and Shaylee is deaf, too. Her parents have had an entirely different experience than Shaylee’s growing up. When they were kids, things weren’t so easy. Her mom never expected anyone to know sign language or how to communicate with her. Yet, Shaylee goes to a school where everyone can sign. Where she is always understood. It’s like a safe space for the little girl. Outside the school’s walls is a very different story. The average person doesn’t know sign language, so Shaylee often feels left out.
Then one day, her parents took her to Disney Parks. She and her little sister pose for a photo with Minnie Mouse. When the photo opt is done, Minnie leaves them stunned. She is learning sign language to communicate with little kids just like Shaylee. While it may seem like such a small gesture, it can truly mean the world to feel included. Imagine being her age and never feeling heard or seen. Not just feeling that way, but expecting to be treated that way. Then suddenly the unexpected happens, someone sees and hears you. I am sure the world felt a lot more hopeful that day!
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