At SodaBottleOpenerWala a part of our staff is Deaf and Hard of Hearing. This isn’t CSR or charity activity by us, but a genuine belief that Deaf people are normal like everyone else and we want to provide a platform of equal opportunity.
Deaf people are normal in every way except the inability to hear. Some of them are Hard of Hearing and some of them may be able to lip read. One might think that Hearing Impaired is the new politically correct word to address the Deaf, but that not correct. Impaired means something’s broken and/or not right and has a negative connotation. So’s the word disabled. The right way to address this is by calling them Deaf. That’s what Deaf people prefer.
Some Hearing people (that’s what the Deaf call people who are not deaf) are not comfortable being around the Deaf. That’s probably more from a lack of exposure than anything else. This probably translates into some sort of fear of not being able to communicate. But in actual practice, communicating with the deaf is fairly easy. Eye contact and a smile is probably the best way to break the ice. The Deaf are good at understanding gestures and it helps when the hearing people start communicating using gestures.
At our outlets which have Deaf staff, each table has a booklet which helps our guests to communicate basic requirements like ‘Get me Regular / Chilled / Room Temperature water’, ‘Can I Have The Menu’, ‘Where’s My Food, Dikra?’, etc. All our Deaf staff also have personal booklets to help them communicate with guests. Every item on our menus has a code written next to it and guests can communicate their orders by writing these codes on order pads. Our Hearing staff is trained in the basics of the Indian Sign language to help facilitate smooth operations.
The world of Deaf is unique and wonderful. They have their own language and in India this’s called Indian Sign Language which is a structured, methodical and well thought out way for communicating with the Deaf and for them to interact amongst themselves.
We take advice and work closely with the following partners who are experts in this field.
Click here to know more about Indian Sign Language http://www.indiansignlanguage.org/