A local cafe owner in Cairns is teaching staff and customers to order coffees in sign language after taking on six employees with hearing impairments.
Elsa Lim, founder of Eat Real Cairns, a cafe and meal delivery service focusing on fresh, healthy food, also works part-time as a disability support worker.
Keen to make Eat Real an accessible place for employees with disabilities, Elsa decided to learn Auslan before realising she could teach her customers how to sign as well.
‘We put some posters up around the cafe and I started teaching regulars the basic orders,’ Elsa told the ABC.
‘I think it makes them feel like they're supporting these guys too.’
Hearing the coffee order is not the only hurdle a barista with impaired hearing may have to overcome.
‘Because she can't hear the sound of the milk frothing Vaikura [one of Eat Real’s baristas] uses the vibrations of the jug to judge when it's ready,’ says Elsa.
‘She's figured that out herself.’
Elsa hopes that by working for Eat Real her staff will get the skills they need to excel in the workforce – regardless of their disabilities.
Ordering a coffee in sign language at Eat Real requires a few specific gestures. The finger-spelled letters for S (small), M (medium) and L (large) will tell the barista which size of coffee you’re after. You can then use the words for long, short, black, flat, white, cappuccino, skinny, milk, sugar, and numbers to build a coffee order. A ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are always appreciated, of course!
Introducing Leslie and signing for coffee don't worry we have sign posters of each coffee to help you let Leslie know what you would like. I'm so proud of her and how much her confidence has grown.Posted by Eat Real Cairns on Wednesday, 26 July 2017
We can only imagine what the sign for glitter coffee would be!
Recovering caffeine-addict and serial bruncher Eliza Murray feels most at home typing away in a cozy cafe with her re-mortgaged avocado toast nearby. When she isn't reporting on the latest Instagram-shattering glittery food trends, she can be found experimenting with new gin garnishes (hello strawberries!) or biting into an entire wheel of brie (no shame). She tweets @theothereliza