There is a new restaurant in Canada and it is making news world over. Not for its food but mainly for its uniqueness – known as ‘Signs’, the restaurant employs only deaf waiters. Owned by Anjan Manikumar, this deaf restaurant and bar that encourages communication solely by sign language. The first of its kind in Canada, customers are asked to order their meals by using the sign language.
Well, if you do not know the sign language, not to fret. Customers are given a small book, which contains the most popular phrases used in restaurants and instructions on how to ‘sign’ the various menu options. When working at a pizza place earlier, Manikumar would have a deaf customer and he realized how difficult it was for this person to place an order. He started learning the sign language and started communicating with this deaf customer, who was o delighted with this effort of Manikumar. This later encouraged him to open ‘Signs’.
There are umpteen options for food but very few places where you can eat and learn a few life lessons with the food. The aim of ‘Signs’ is to allow people to see what’s it’s like for the deaf community and a first step in incorporating deaf individuals into other industries.
Signs is reminiscent of San Francisco’s Mozzeria, an Italian restaurant known for having deaf owners and deaf staff members. There is also the O.Noir restaurant, where customers dine in darkness and are waited on by blind servers. Well, it would be great if we in India showed this kind of compassion and took steps to assimilate our physically challenged. That’s a tall order in a country where we discriminate able bodied people……