China’s Silent Beverage bubble tea shop is garnering interest from locals in Guiyang due to its unique premise of exclusively hiring employees with hearing impairment.
Except for one cashier who doesn’t have a disability, Silent Beverage’s staff only communicate with each other through the use of sign language.
Customers dictate their orders by pointing at the various menus and visual aids scattered throughout the shop, according to South China Morning Post.
Silent Beverage currently employs 16 people who all started as interns, but were given vital training for a month-and-a-half before becoming full-fledged workers.
Staff member Huang Yun, 20, revealed through sign language that the tea shop helped him become independent enough so that his parents wouldn’t have to worry about him.
Fortunately, Silent Beverage is hoping to help deaf people searching for a job by opening two more branches in the city.
Shops like Silent Beverage are heaven-sent for people with disabilities who are seeking independence, especially since finding work is not easy.
Meanwhile, a survey from the U.K. revealed that disabled people had to apply for 60% more jobs before finding one, and only half of them reach the interview portion, according to The Independent.
A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions attributed the lack of employment to the outdated attitudes of employers towards disabilities, something they hope companies would change to increase the chances of talented people getting hired.
Countries like Japan are also addressing the unemployment rate among disabled people by making them a necessary part of the workforce.