SIGNS Restaurant Inc. is Canada’s first restaurant staffed with people who are deaf where guests order their food using American Sign Language (ASL). With menus designed to help guests interact with servers who are deaf, SIGNS is a unique concept that showcases that every person is equally capable of achieving their ambitions provided they are given the right tools to succeed.
SIGNS goals are to not only to provide good food, great service and a positive dining experience for guests, but to also provide job and career opportunities for the deaf community and alleviate the under-employment/unemployment situation that can often be associated with people with disabilities.
Since opening in August 2014, SIGNS Restaurant’s concept has inspired other organizations to hire people who are deaf in their workforce. In five year’s time the organization hopes to open more locations across North America. SIGNS also hopes to see more businesses hiring people who are deaf across all industries so that employing staff members who are deaf becomes less of a news story and more of the norm.
About the Ontario Leader in Accessible Employment Award:
Sponsored by the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Leader in Accessible Employment is awarded to a business or organization that has created an accessible work environment, values the contribution of persons with disabilities, and promotes the development of an inclusive workplace culture for all.
What Ontario business leaders are saying about SIGNS Restaurant Inc.:
“SIGNS Restaurant is a unique business that brings the topic of accessibility to the forefront of peoples’ minds by shining a light on the different types of abilities through the common custom of dining-out. It’s great a see a business like SIGNS Restaurant be named as a finalist in this category, because it highlights the importance of accessible employment.”
– Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
“SIGNS Restaurant is a family business providing workplace opportunities for the deaf community in an industry that traditionally relies on verbal communication. More than an accessible workplace, SIGNS Restaurant is also a meeting place and important community hub providing delicious food and a learning experience for those who visit.”
– Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade
“Signs is a business concept that shows what it means to be an all-inclusive organization. One of the founding principles of the concept is that regardless of a person’s ethic origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability, the restaurant treats all its guests and employees with respect and dignity.”
– Anjan Manikumar, Founder and President of SIGNS Restaurant Inc.
The Ontario Leader in Accessible Employment Award is generously supported by