Deaf’s Delight Café, the first deaf and hard-of-hearing café in Newark, New Jersey, has finally opened its doors.
“I’m trying to bring two worlds together. I want the hearing community to realise that the deaf community is here,” said owner Sandra Rivers.
Opened as a tribute to her parents, Rivers is now welcoming local deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to a safe space created specifically for their needs.
The pandemic and a robbery may have stalled the grand opening of the café, but those obstacles only strengthened Rivers and her commitment to serve a community that oftentimes feels isolated and overseen.
“Here in Newark we have 22,000 individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, so that alone is a big job,” she says, recalling how she would watch her deaf mother live out life in a society that wasn’t designed for her and her mute dad.
In light of the challenging times and lack of grants, to fund the project, Rivers is currently running a GoFundMe fundraiser, in hopes that the community itself will help keep her business afloat.
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