From the outside, ‘Signs’ restaurant in Downtown Toronto looks no different than any other dining option in the city that is home to over 2 million people. Step inside and you are given the opportunity to experience dining in a way like never before.
Signs restaurant is a full-service restaurant that is staffed entirely with deaf waiters. Patrons are given the opportunity to both learn and practice their sign language through the menu which features step-by-step instruction on how to communicate common requests as well as every item on the menu to their servers -and, eventually, hopefully to each other. The experience reminds guests of the gift of communication that so many of us take for granted, and gives them an opportunity to learn some of the basics to another form of language that can allow them to better connect with those in the deaf community.
Whether we are born deaf, blind or with any other form of impairment, we are all equal in this world, and Signs restaurant gives us an opportunity to further practice and embrace that equality. Check out this video from a news broadcast fully describing the ‘Signs’ experience and story:
As stated in the video, another great feature about Signs is that it opens another door of opportunity -the food service industry -for those in the deaf community. Rather than simply accepting certain things as possible and others not, places such as Signs shatter societal limitations and set the foundation for even more outside-of-the-box creativity.
Living just north of Toronto, I fully intend to visit Signs at some point in the near future – assuming I can get a reservation at the seemingly very busy dining option. The video states that Signs is the first of it’s kind in Canada, however I’m sure that there other unique restaurants, stores and more out there that provide unique experiences and awesome opportunities to those with some form of disability. If you know of any others that you would like to help build awareness about, be sure to share them via the comment section below!
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