Anyone who is “friends” with a Disney Parks character knows the number one rule — you never break character.
Disney characters aren’t supposed to do anything outside of what that character would normally say or do. Tigger should not gesture that he loves honey. That’s Winnie the Pooh’s territory!
Cinderella shouldn’t act like her wicked step-sisters, and Woody probably shouldn’t start speaking in a British accent.
But some things just fit so perfectly within the magic. Many characters go above and beyond their duty to sign a book or say “cheese.”
And who better than a Marvel Superhero to rise above the rest? When it comes to saving the day in a big way, Captain America always shows up.
In this case, he didn’t battle a villain or stand up against Iron Man. Instead, Captain America made one guest’s day when he spoke to him using American Sign Language.
Jade Elizabeth — @xoxogossipjew on Instagram — posted a video of a moment she captured at Disney California Adventure park in 2016.
“One of the sweetest moments I’ve ever seen,” she wrote in her caption. “Quit making me fall in love with you.”
Watch as Captain America greets the guest by signing. The encounter is brief but totally heartwarming — we’re all going to be in love with “Cap” after this one.
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The guest signs the word “Boston” and Cap immediately engages him in conversation. The meet-n-greet ends with a hug. I have to agree with Jade — this is definitely one of the sweetest things I have ever seen.
Disney is known for accommodating guests with disabilities. For those who are hard of hearing, the Disneyland Resort offers “Assistive Listening Systems.”
According to Disneyland’s website, these systems “amplify sound through headphones or induction loop, [and] are recommended for Guests with mild to moderate hearing loss.”
Reflective and/or handheld captioning is also available for certain attractions, and, of course, sign language interpretation is available for many performances.
Though Captain America is not an “official” Disneyland interpreter, I’d say signing fits within his job description.
“The response to Captain America doing ASL shows that committing to accessibility pays off, not just in serving customers with disabilities — though that’s most important — but also in making people just generally feel welcome,” disability advocate David Perry told Upworthy via email.
“My son, who has Down syndrome, doesn’t need sign language. But knowing that Captain America is out there makes me feel more confident that Disneyland will meet his needs too.”
This particular Steve Rogers is clearly more than “just a kid from Brooklyn.” He’s someone who represents the American people — ALL American people — hearing, deaf, or anywhere in between.
Way to go, Cap! You’re a true example of kindness and inclusion. You may not be the first Disney character to speak to a guest using sign language, but that doesn’t make you any less a hero.
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