According to the World Health Organization, more than 5% of the global population, around 466 million people, suffer from significant hearing loss.
Hearing loss affects approximately 20% of the American population, which accounts for 48 million people.
Samantha Savitz, a baby from Massachusetts, is one of those included in this statistic.
Despite living in a town where there were no other deaf individuals, her kind neighbors embraced and included her.
Sam is well-loved by the residents of Islington Road in Newton, Massachusetts.
She eagerly seeks to engage in conversation with anyone who understands American Sign Language (ASL), but unfortunately, not everyone in the neighborhood is proficient.
Friends and acquaintances of Sam could see that she was eager to communicate with them.
When they pass her by during walks or in her garden, they feel frustrated because they don’t know how to interact with her, despite all their efforts.
They all had the same goal for Sam.
The comments from her neighbors show their desire to be Sam’s friend. However, they must first master American Sign Language.
It may seem unlikely that an entire town would study ASL for the benefit of one small child, but that’s exactly what happened in this case.
Samantha’s neighbors came together to individually pay for a sign language coach. Now, everyone is taking ASL classes.
Many hearing parents don’t make the effort to learn sign language for their deaf children, which instructors like Rhys McGovern find particularly surprising.
The compassion of strangers towards their daughter Sam has amazed her parents. Glenda and Raphael find it both shocking and beautiful that their daughter receives so much attention.