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Kansas City-area cafe employees learn American Sign Language for customers

Cafe Cà Phê
Posted at 6:46 AM, Apr 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-18 18:41:28-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A cafe in the West Bottoms is going the extra mile for their customers by learning American Sign Language, so that they can communicate with people coming in to get a cup of joe.

For people who are deaf and hard of hearing, trying to find someone who knows simple sign language can be tough. However, Cafe Cà Phê is requiring its employees to at least take a beginners level ASL class.

Employees had the chance to work on their sign language on Saturday at a "Sipping and Signing" event. People who are deaf, hard of hearing and sign language students got to come in for coffee and sign together.

Places like Cafe Cà Phê noticed a need to know sign language, in order to make others feel welcome.

"I think that is the point, community. So people within the community try to involve the members of the community especially when you have language and culture included. People are so much open minded in those particular scenarios," Micki Keck, with the The Whole Person said.

This event was a partnership with The Whole Person and Blip Roasters.

"We as a company just really wanted to become their friends, versus spend time trying to communicate and figure out what they were saying," Jackie Nguyen, owner of Cafe Cà Phê said. "We took a class called ALS for the coffee professional that's held by Micki. We learned basic vocabulary - coffee, espresso, how are you, things like that to be able to communicate with the deaf community."