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Signs Restaurant Aims to Empower the Deaf Community

Photo: Signs/Facebook

A restaurant employing members of the deaf community is opening soon in Toronto. According to Eater Toronto, Signs Restaurant will ask customers to order food and drink using sign language. The Star notes that diners will have assistance from "cheat book" that "illustrates how to sign menu items." The restaurant plans to serve "contemporary Canadian and international dishes" plus several game dishes and a wine menu.

Owner Anjan Manikumar was inspired to open Signs after interacting with a regular customer who was deaf at a restaurant he previously managed. It was was difficult for the customer to order, so Manikumar learned American Sign Language. He hopes the restaurant will be a place where not only "the deaf can work and dine using their language, but also a place for the hearing to learn about the deaf community."

While Signs isn't the first deaf restaurant — Mozzeria, a pizzeria in San Francisco, is home to a deaf staff and owners — it is the first to "fully integrate sign language into the dining experience." Many other establishments, like a group of bars in Washington, DC, have made efforts in recent years to make dining and drinking easier for deaf patrons: Some keep their lights brighter for easier lip read and others have learned basic sign language. Signs Restaurant and Bar opens July 16.

· 'Deaf Restaurant' Signs Will Open This Month [Eater Toronto]
· Deaf Restaurant Signs Offers Edible Lessons in Sign Language [The Star]
· All Toronto Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Signs

558 Yonge St Toronto, ON M4Y, Canada

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