Deafinitely aims to empower the deaf community through training, job creation and support. This will help the deaf community realize that they have a rightful place in a hearing world and create awareness of deafness.
Deafinitely Coffee will be the first business that will address the challenge of empowering the deaf community through job creation. It promises to also be an adventurous experience for hearing people - stepping into the deaf world, whilst enjoying a light lunch and luxury coffee. Deafinitely Coffee will be acting as a bridge between people of different abilities and cultures.
Deafinitely Coffee promises to offer an experience unlike any other, where customers are encouraged to engage verbally as well as visually with the Deaf staff, patrons are given the opportunity to be taught rudimentary sign language in order to place their orders and engage with the staff. The decorative space of Deafinitely Coffee will also offer a opportunity for crafts made by Deaf people to be showcased and sold. This aspect of the venture will be called Deafinitely Crafts.
It will be more than just coffee shop space, it will be about a mind-shift and about correcting the perception that Deaf people are disabled or dumb. Of the estimated 2-million disabled people in South Africa, 500,000 are classified as ‘Deaf’ and almost 1.5-million South Africans are considered to be ‘hearing-impaired’, which means that 4.5% of South Africa’s total population is Deaf.
While South Africa recognizes 11 official verbal and written languages, it has yet to recognize South African Sign Language (SASL) - the visual language that is common across all South African Deaf people. This in turn has deeper social implications as it limits opportunities for tertiary education and results in high unemployment amongst the Deaf.
Deafinitely Coffee and Deafinitely Crafts will be an asset to all of society.