Signs – A Restaurant for the Hearing Impaired

Asl_alphabet_gallaudetWant to brush up on old sign language, or learn some new skills? In Toronto, Canada, a restaurant called Signs has made this possible.

Since its opening, the restaurant has had reservations pour in. Customers are raving about their experience, both signers and non-signers alike. Normally it’s simple for someone to order vocally while the hearing impaired struggle to get their point across, but Signs has effectively reversed the normal process, allowing the hearing impaired to order with ease. On the flip side, those without any hearing impairment might find themselves having a difficult time ordering their food. 

The restaurant may require sign language, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be left in the dark. The restaurant offers several different sign language terms and ways to order specific dishes by giving each customer a guide to sign language.

Anjan Manikumar, owner of the restaurant, wanted to give the hearing impaired a chance to “shine.” The restaurant’s goal is to create an understanding and awareness between different people.

So far, it seems to be working.

When the restaurant looked for applicants, more than 200 deaf people signed up. Of the 50 that were chosen, many had no restaurant experience at all.

“It’s given deaf people an opportunity to work in a work force they wouldn’t otherwise have been able to work in,” Rachel Shemuel, manager, said. “It opens up a whole new work force for the deaf community.”

Check out the restaurant’s website here.


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