Pallet Cafe empowers people with hearing loss in hospitality industry
Blink visited Pallet Cafe, a garden cafe chain in Kenya promoting the employment of people with hearing loss in the food service community. Their vision is to challenge stereotypes and showcase that disability doesn't equate to inability. “The main reason of this societal business is empowering people who have been left out. We are targeting numbers not just only giving jobs, which means empowering them to help finding their own job is the key vision.” said Feisal Hussein, the founder of Pallet cafe. Innovative approaches have been made to facilitate communication between staff and customers: a simple menu with numbers, staffs wearing t-shirts saying #I’m deaf on the back, creating a welcoming atmosphere with easy sign languages. This way customers also learn how to communicate with the staff, who most likely would not have experienced communication with people who are deaf in a service situation. The vision continues to evolve with the expansion, with indoor and outdoor co-working space, outdoor yoga center, art studio and a social center.
BLINK'S SUSTAINABLE RETAIL INSIGHTS
Pallet Cafe is more than just a place to dine; it's a community hub where people come together, learn from each other, and appreciate the abilities of everyone regardless of their background or abilities. The World Health Organization estimates nearly 20 percent of people worldwide live with hearing loss. As a retail design agency we have the responsibility to connect people and drive positive change in a societal level, which includes looking for what design can be done for the deaf community. This can involve considerations such as accessible layouts, clear signage, service design elements that embrace diverse range of abilities and backgrounds. Incorporating principles of inclusivity, equity of accessibility, and neurodiversity into our retail designs will contribute to an environment that encourages social interaction and mutual appreciation.
Watch the full interview in our Instagram.