Restaurant for Deaf People Opens in Toronto

November 1, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. staff /ˈstæf/ (v.) – to hire workers or employees for a particular job
Example: The restaurant is staffed with servers who wear Disney character costumes.

2. workforce /ˈwɚkˌfoɚs/ (n.) – the total number of people employed in a company
Example: The strength of a company is its skillful workforce.

3. sign /saɪn/ (v.) – to use the sign language in order to communicate with other people
Example: My deaf friend signed that he agrees by nodding his head.

4. adept /əˈdɛpt/ (adj.) – good and knowledgeable at something
Example: Managers should be adept at human relations.

5. eye-opener /ˈaɪˌoʊpənɚ/ (n.) – an event or a situation that makes one understand something s/he didn’t know before
Example: Visiting the deaf community has been an eye opener for me.


Read the text below.
A newly-opened deaf restaurant in Canada encourages customers to interact and order food using sign language.

Signs is the first restaurant in Toronto catered for the deaf. It is staffed mostly with deaf servers. Creator Anjan Manikumar [uhn-JAN man-ee-kuh-MAR], a hearing man, hopes the restaurant will open doors for deaf people, especially in the workforce.

The concept began when Manikumar struggled to communicate with a deaf customer in his previous job at Boston Pizza in Markham [MAHR-kuh m]. He said that the customer did not get the best service possible even if he was a regular customer. Not satisfied with just a series of pointing and nodding, Manikumar put effort to learn the American Sign Language (ASL).

The first gestures he learned was for “hello” and “enjoy,” which already made a big impact on the customer. The customer was so impressed that he came back the next day with another deaf friend, Manikumar relates. The positive results from this experience encouraged Manikumar to widen his knowledge in ASL and to eventually put up a restaurant where sign language is the form of communication.

Hearing customers are asked to sign their order as a deaf waiter comes to their service. Those who are not adept at using sign language need not to be intimidated since the restaurant provides a cheat sheet that helps customers sign common and useful phrases used to order meals.

Manikumar hopes that his restaurant will be an eye-opener by letting people experience how being deaf feels like.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you like to dine in Signs if you had the chance? Why or why not?
·         Do you think this kind of restaurant can succeed even in your country? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         In what other field do you think a deaf person can be employed?
·         How does your country’s local government help improve the wellbeing of deaf people?

November 1, 2014