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Sexsmith family thrilled after Deaf Child Area sign set up

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A Sexsmith family is expressing their gratitude to the town for helping them to advise passing drivers to slow down and be alert for their deaf child.

Brett Mankelow says the town was extremely receptive to his request to have a Deaf Child Area sign set up out of concern for his two-year-old.

“To be honest… [it was] our neighbour’s idea. She connected us to one of the town council members and it just went from there. I was so surprised how quick it was.”

“[Council] was so supportive, they asked if it needed lights, if it needed something to get people’s attention, they were more than happy to help,” he explains.

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Mankelow adds he first reached out to Council on November 27th. The family saw the sign for the first time on December 10th.

Deaf Child Area signs, and similar Blind Child Area signs may be set up where it is necessary to warn drivers to be alert for children who may be unaware of regular traffic sounds or warnings, or who may be unable to see approaching traffic.

Mankelow says he has immediately begun to notice drivers passing through slowing down and generally being more aware of children playing in the vicinity.

“A lot of people… you can tell they’re not doing the speed limit. It’s a noticeable difference.”
“I worry about her all the time whenever we send her out [to play]. It’s not that we don’t trust her but we don’t want [her going] out with the cochlear because she’s so young and they’re so expensive. When she goes outside she’s completely deaf.”

He adds being the father of a child with a disability has opened his eyes to new challenges and emotions.

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