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Calabasas Teen Helps Deaf, Blind Man On Cross-Country Flight

CALABASAS (CBSLA) — A teen from Calabasas stepped up to help a man on her flight who's blind and deaf.

As CBSLA's Jo Kwon reports, she's been studying sign language for less than a year but the young woman's skills were good enough to help the man communicate and keep him company.

Clara Daly and her mom were flying home from Massachusetts when a flight attendant asked if anyone knew American sign language.

"So then I pressed the call button," said Clara. "And then she came, and she said 'so we have a passenger on the plane who's blind and deaf, so do you know how to finger spell?' And I was like, 'yeah I totally know how to finger spell.'"

She signed each letter in every word so that the man with Clara could feel her hands.

"They thought that he might need something and they weren't sure how to communicate," said Clara.

She says the man named Tim told her he would like a water and asked how much time was left in the flight. And then he asked for Clara again.

"He like didn't need anything. He was just like lonely and wanted to talk," said Clara.

So she did for the last hour of the flight.

"I was thinking 'wow this is really cool, I hope I don't spell anything wrong' ," said Clara.

Clara is dyslexic.

"English is already a hard language for me," said Clara.

And she only started learning sign language about a year ago.

"I saw sign language as a way to communicate without having to read and write," said Clara.

Her parents, Jane and Bill, say they could not be prouder of their daughter.

"Yeah it was immeasurable before but it's even... What's infinity times infinity?," said Bill.

Mom was so proud she posted about Monday's flight on Facebook.

"I just felt like this was a story that people would want to hear," said Jane.

And many people did. Clara's story has gone viral.

"I think it's weird that like it's getting so much attention," said Clara. "Doing something like that is just like what anyone would have done."

"She has an amazing soul," said Jane.

Dad says in addition to sign language people can also learn this from his daughter.

"To open yourself up. To be there for others. And to look past our differences," said Bill.

Clara says she wants to senator one day. And when she's giving speeches to all the crowds, she does say she plans to sign them as well.

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