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October 30, 2003

A Haunted House for Deaf Children

From: WBBM, IL - Oct 30, 2003

(CBS 2) You've probably been to haunted houses before, but chances are you've never seen one like this.

Imagine a haunted house created specifically for deaf children.

It was designed by the mayor's office for people with disabilities, and it proves Halloween can be just as spooky even for children who can't hear.

“The sounds are not important; it's more visual, more tactile, and more directional where to look, what to see,” said Commissioner Dave Hanson, Mayors Office of People with Disabilities.

A tour guide took a group of children on a scary adventure. The children reached into a pot and touched what felt like eyeballs.

Monsters came out of nowhere, making contact with the children, sometimes grabbing their ankles when they least expected it.

“Many times when they go to a regular haunted house, they don't realize what they're missing,” said Kate Kubey, Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities.

Nearly 80 children from four Chicago schools were involved in the Halloween activities. In addition to the haunted house, they also took part in arts-and-crafts projects designed especially for them.

“The children are much more comfortable because they're with their peers,” said Hanson.

And it's not too often they get to attend a party where the games are explained in sign language.

(© 2003 CBS 2 CHICAGO. All Rights Reserved.