This Sign Language Restaurant is Staffed by the Deaf

Canadian restaurant, ‘Signs’ is almost entirely staffed by hearing-impaired workers and encourages customers to sign their orders
You don’t have to be deaf to enjoy a meal at ‘Signs,’ and you may even learn a thing or two.

It’s often difficult for the deaf and hard-of-hearing to communicate with non-hearing-impaired people, but a Canadian restaurant is flipping that discomfort on its head. Welcome to Signs, a restaurant in Toronto that’s almost entirely staffed by the deaf and hearing-impaired. You certainly do not have to be deaf to enjoy a meal here. In fact, customers are encouraged to try and sign their orders, with the help of flip chart translation guides at the tables.

In case you have difficulty, wait staff are trained to be able to communicate more effectively with customers who can hear and are used to communicating verbally. Plus, the manager is fluent in sign language, though she is not hearing-impaired.

"This is an amazing opportunity for the deaf community to be able to put themselves out into the workforce, in a workforce that would otherwise discriminate against them," Signs manager Rachel Shemuel told W14 News.

More than five percent of Canadians over the age of 15 have suffered some hearing loss, so the staff at Signs is looking to bridge the gap between the hearing and non-hearing community. 

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi

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