Published on July 30th, 2014 | by Sima Sahar Zerehi0
Signs Restaurant introduces diners to sign language
Henry Ma practices assembling a salad in the kitchen at Signs Restaurant, taking special care to place the pickled garnish on top. For Ma the opening is especially exciting because it’s the first time he gets to work in a business catering to people like him.
Signs Restaurant is staffed with deaf servers, and is now open for business in Toronto’s busy Yonge and Wellesley area. The restaurant is the first project of its kind in Canada.
“I think it’s super inspiring,” says Christine Nelson from the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf. “On behalf of the whole community we’re thrilled to see something like this take place.”
Owner Anjan Manikumar says he got the inspiration for Signs while working in a Markham restaurant as a server. He had a deaf customer who had to order by pointing to the menu. “I felt he wasn’t getting the service he deserved,” says Manikumar. “He wasn’t getting the personal touch.”
Signs offers customers a chance to learn basic sign language through helpful graphics incorporated in the menu, cheat-sheets placed on tables and wall mounted photographs illustrating signs for common words needed in a restaurant like the names of alcoholic drinks.
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