In the modern world, it’s important for every business to give every customer the best service possible. This is especially true for customers who have special needs. It’s not easy to give good service to deaf or hard-of-hearing customers, but socially responsible businesses pay all the costs and make extra efforts to be deaf-friendly. This article will tell you what it means for a business to be deaf-friendly. It will also tell you more about deaf-friendly businesses in Minnesota.
What Does It Mean to Be a Deaf-Friendly Business?
Some businesses in Minnesota have recently been given the “Certified Deaf Friendly” business mark. This means that a business with this trademark has met the requirements for it and made sure that its services meet the needs of people who are deaf or close to being deaf. To be a deaf-friendly business, though, you need to do more than just try to make sure all customers’ needs are met. You also need to stick to certain standards. Here are the requirements that a business must meet in order to get a “Certified Dear Friendly” trademark:
- A company should promise that if a deaf customer has a problem with its products or services, they will be told about it in Sign Language.
- A business promises that it will treat all of its customers with the same kindness and respect. That means that all deaf customers, as well as all other customers who don’t have hearing problems, will feel welcome and well taken care of at deaf-friendly businesses. They won’t have to worry about being ignored, having a waiter make their point to the menu items, not being able to order food without a hearing person with them, and so on.
- A company promises to use Sign Language to communicate with its deaf or nearly deaf customers. This can be done by hiring employees who know Sign Language, using Revolution Language Sign kiosks, or using the LP Connect mobile VRI. All of these things give the companies a chance
How to Treat Deaf Customers If Your Business Is Not Deaf Friendly Yet
If you work for a business in Minnesota that hasn’t done anything yet to make sure that deaf customers get the same level of service as other customers, you can start making changes right where you work. The tips in this part of our article will also help small business owners, who can use them to make their places of business more accessible to deaf people:
- You can still read lips. If you have to deal with a deaf client and don’t know what to do, the first thing you should try (if your business hasn’t given you any other instructions) is to speak slowly and clearly while making hand gestures. The studies showed that most deaf people can read lips if their conversation partners talk slowly and say the words clearly. Yet, research has shown that this can’t be the only way to talk to deaf customers and may only be a supplementary way.
- Use a pen as well as paper. This technology from 1000 years ago wouldn’t let you down. If you need to talk to a client about a lot of different things and you don’t have anyone who knows Sign Language, try making comfortable paper forms and talk about all the important things that way.
- Hire someone who knows how to sign. If you want to start a business that is friendly to deaf people, the easiest thing to do might be to hire someone who knows Sign Language.
- Use the technology we have today. With the way the IT industry is changing right now, it’s getting easier and cheaper to give everyone good service. For example, deaf people almost never use teletypewriters, which are often suggested as a way to make a business more accessible. When it comes to technology, hotel owners could put Videophones and TTYs all over the hotel. Theater and movie theatre owners can give their deaf customers Rear Window captioning, which lets them see movie captions in a way that makes it easy for them to watch. After all, owners of apartments and lodges can put up systems with blinking strobe lights that would let their deaf customers know about the fire alarm.
What Are Deaf-Friendly Businesses in Minnesota
Unfortunately, there aren’t that many businesses in Minnesota that are friendly to the deaf. However, there are quite a few businesses that have adopted technologies and practises that are friendly to the deaf. This part of our article will give you a list of businesses in Minnesota that are friendly to deaf people, along with descriptions, contact information, and pictures. So, if you live in Minnesota and are having trouble hearing, you know where to go. So, the following businesses in Minnesota that are good for the deaf are on the list:
The AmericInn Hotel and Convention Center (Mankato). In the town of Mankato, there is a high-end hotel and conference centre that has added features and technologies that help deaf people. These include TTYs, Videophones, and systems with blinking strobe lights. The hotel also has a business centre, ATMs, a fitness centre, guest laundry, an indoor pool, a whirlpool, a conference room, free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, and free newspapers. The hotel’s check-in time is at 15:00, and check-out time is at 11:00. You can pay with cash or a credit card. It looks like this hotel is one of the most deaf-friendly places in Minnesota.
Address: 240 Stadium Road, Mankato, MN 56001.
KC’s Saloon (Pillager). In the city of Pillager, KC’s Saloon is a casual fast food place where you can order tasty food after talking to the friendly staff in Sign Language. But the restaurant doesn’t get any worse when it comes to the quality and taste of the food. It has a wide range of appetizers, such as tacos, chips, fries, and nachos. It also has almost a dozen different kinds of burgers, six different kinds of sandwiches, four kinds of full dinners, a couple of salads, and a soup. Also, don’t forget the famous Jumbo Wings, which are the restaurant’s specialty. The restaurant is also open every day from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. (until midnight on Sundays, though).
Address: 116 Cedar Ave, Pillager, MN 56473.
Contact: 218-746-3328, website.
The pub George & the Dragon There’s more to do at the George & the Dragon Pub than just drinking beer. This bar can also say that its customers get great service, including translations into Sign Language, and that its food is delicious. There are 12 different kinds of wine and the same number of different kinds of beer at this pub. There are also 6 different kinds of bombers and 12 different kinds of cider and beer in cans. Also, the restaurant has a really big menu with a lot of tasty dishes, like 10 appetizers, 10 sandwiches, 10 main dinner dishes, different kinds of brunches, and the Sunday Roast, which is known as the king dish.
Address: 813 West 50th St., Minneapolis, MN 55419.
Contact: 612-208-1047, website.
Baxter has an Applebee’s Grill and Bar. Applebee’s is a casual dining restaurant chain with locations in every state in the US and 15 other countries. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that some of its restaurants in the U.S. have started using the technology and methods that make them deaf-friendly. In fact, you can count on the Applebee’s restaurant in Baxter to be on the list of deaf-friendly businesses in Minnesota. Applebee’s menu seems to have a lot of options, like different kinds of burgers, chicken, pasta, grilled foods, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. There are also packages and value deals that can save you a lot of money. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to either 12 a.m. or 1 a.m.
Address: 15240 Dellwood, Baxter, MN 56401.
Contact: 218-833-1400, website.
The Family Theater in the Village (Faribault). This movie theatre is popular with both people who live in the state and people who come to visit. But what makes this theatre really special is that it has a system called “Rear Window captioning,” which lets deaf people watch the shows in comfort. The theatre was built in 1896 as an armoury, but in the 1920s, it was changed into a theatre. In the 1940s, the theatre got a major makeover, but it closed in the 1970s. Later, the building was a bar, a store that sold appliances, and even a church. In 2013, after being fixed up, it reopened as a movie theatre. Users from all over the country can now enjoy the high-quality movies they can watch here.
Address: 20 2nd St. NW, Faribault, MN 55021.
Contact: 507-323-8586, website.
The TownePlace Suites by Marriott In the town of Bloomington, a hotel from a well-known chain offers a wide range of amenities and excellent service to deaf customers. This is obviously one of the most deaf-friendly places of business in Minnesota. People who work here know Sign Language, and there are also videophones. Also, this hotel is near Mall of America, which is one of the biggest shopping malls in the country. The most important things that the hotel has to offer are a kitchen, free Wi-Fi everywhere in the hotel, and free breakfasts. Also, it looks like this hotel is friendly to both deaf people and pets.
Address: 2500 Lindau Lane, Bloomington, MN 55245.
Contact: 952-540-4000, website.
Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (Crosby). This clinic is in the town of Crosby, and all of its services are of the highest quality. Sign Language speakers also work there. The hospital offers all diagnostic services in all areas of medicine, such as urology, sports medicine, rheumatology, rehabilitation, radiology, podiatry, gynaecology, cardiology, dermatology, pain management, and many more. Also, you can get all the services you need and buy the medicines you need here. So, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center can be added to the list of the best places to work in Minnesota if you are deaf.
Address: 320 East Main Street, Crosby, MN 56441.
Contact: 218-546-7000, 888-487-6437, website.
Lake Elmo Inn Restaurant (Lake Elmo). In fact, Lake Elmo Inn is not just a restaurant. It is also a place where you can hold any kind of event, no matter what the occasion. Yes, this restaurant does offer translation into Sign Language to all of its customers if they need it. The meals at this restaurant are amazing, and that’s all that can be said about catering or events where they are served. The restaurant’s menu has 9 sections, such as Wine List, Beer & Cocktail Menu, Bar Menu, Dessert, Young Adult’s Menu, Tuesday Buffet, Sunday Brunch, Dinner Menu, and Lunch Menu. You can find out about the restaurant’s and the center’s hours of operation here. So, this restaurant is the last one on our list of places in Minnesota that are good for deaf people.
Address: 3442 Lake Elmo Avenue North, Lake Elmo, MN 55042.
If you own a business in Minnesota that is friendly to the deaf or if you know of more, you can leave a comment with the name and address of the business.