We’ve seen several Cast Members (including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and the Frozen character Queen Anna) using sign language to speak with deaf Disney Guests during some recent meet and greets. Now, a Marvel superhero has joined in and begun providing this extra-special and emotionally-moving service to Guests in the deaf community who are usually made to feel left out!
A Disney performer and Cast Member portraying the Simu Liu superhero Shang-Chi from Shang-Chi: Legend of the Ten Rings has just been spotted speaking American Sign Language (ASL) with a Guest at Disneyland Resort. In the previous sweet ASL interactions we’ve seen, the characters have not spoken openly about how they came to learn ASL — but this “entertainment Cast Member” clearly tells the pleased female Guest that he is still in the process of learning sign language.
The Shang-Chi performer looks just as friendly but nervous as anyone who is trying to make it through a conversation in a new language — speaking sign language or any other language with someone fluent, when you’re still learning it, can be very intimidating — but the female Guest is a good sport and helps him with words that he does not know.
It is not clear if the ASL training is part of face character and fur character Cast Members’ training process these days, since so many Cast Members are speaking ASL with Guests all of a sudden. If it is, this is a huge step forward when it comes to inclusivity, not to mention a big indication of Disney employees’ level of commitment when it comes to providing all Guests (including the deaf community) with a positive experience.
This particular Cast Member says in the video that he is learning sign language because his father requested that he do so — but even though this Cast Member’s ASL skills are not part of his Disney job, the interaction is still a sweet one!
Disney shared this footage with Disney Fanatic (although, as you can see, the original video has been posted on TikTok by @slippery.when.wet) and said the following about the “heartwarming story”: “A recent guest’s TikTok video shows an entertainment Cast Member having a conversation with a Guest named Lili Jae in American Sign Language (ASL) at Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park. Always looking for ways to make each Guest experience magical, Cast Members strive to ensure that all who come to Disney Parks are welcome.”