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Cafe supports diversity by teaching staff to sign

Jun 2nd, 2016 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News


photo at the top

Sign language and barista educator Amber Shaw.

Teaching sign language and barista classes is all in a day’s work for Coffee Educators employee Amber Shaw.

The Lower Hutt based company she works for is running sign language classes in a bid to make the coffee industry more accessible to deaf people.

Coffee Educators, who already employ a significant number of deaf workers, are now offering sign language courses to the wider public.

The company runs three cafés in Lower Hutt and says the classes are another step towards making the coffee industry more inclusive.


inside post

Amber Shaw tamping down the ground beans at the Lower Hutt cafe.

Amber Shaw an employee of Coffee Educators, who is profoundly deaf, is teaching the eight week sign language courses.

She says she hopes teaching the classes will help get more people involved with the deaf community.

Amber Shaw says in an ideal world everyone would know sign language which would make it easier for deaf people to communicate in everyday life.

“Everyone would learn sign language and we [deaf community] would have a lot more access to services.  It would be fantastic if I could just go along and talk to people using sign language, and have absolutely no barriers at all,” she says.

Amber contacted Coffee Educators to learn more about coffee, but was originally offered work teaching sign language, however now she teaches barista courses as well.

Coffee educators already employ a deaf chef and deaf baristas in all of their cafes.

They won employer of the year 2015 from Deaf Aotearoa and won the Divers-ability award winner from the Equal Employment Opportunity Trust.






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