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Myanmar Opens Cafe for People who are Deaf

YANGON – A first-ever private eatery run by staff with hearing disabilities was opened in Myanmar’s Yangon earlier this month, creating accessible environment for people who are deaf, reports Xinhua.

“The Able,” a sign language book cafe, is entirely staffed by six people with hearing disabilities from service staff to chef, to encourage persons with disabilities to work.

“There are some sign language eateries in foreign countries and the idea of opening such an eatery in my country, Myanmar, was sprung from them about three years ago. This book cafe is now opened in collaboration with a mini book store of my friend,” said Myo Kyaw Thu, co-founder of “The Able”.

“We had some financial challenges to get the idea of opening such an eatery off the ground and at first, there were some misunderstandings between staff and us as we had communication barrier. now I’m learning sign language with the help of an experienced teacher and trying to use it in the communication with them,” said Myo Kyaw Thu.

There are about 43,000 people with hearing disabilities across Myanmar, according to 2014 Myanmar Population and Housing Census Thematic Report on Disability by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population and the United Nations Population Fund.

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