Accessibility: Cafe Signs in Paris

cafe signes, located on the left bank is clearly the quietest bistro in paris. the silence is not due to the lack of clientele, rather, it could be filled to the gills with customers and yet you won’t hear one word from anybody.

this is france’s first silent cafe/restaurant, though oftentimes the loudest sound you will hear is the sound of laughter. initially funded by the government to employ people with disabilities, the cafe is staffed with 45 people mostly all deaf or hard of hearing. the exception is the cook, that has full hearing, in the event that there is some sort of communication breakdown with hearing customers who aren’t very familiar with signing.

the cafe is open to everyone (hearing and non-hearing) and there are charts all around for hearing people to consult when they need to order something on the menu. also, when waiters have a bit of free time, they will often give signing lessons and teach some basic requests. it is a wonderful opportunity for hearing people to experience part of a deaf person’s world.

how do you order fries??! look at the waiter and smile while interlocking your (straight) fingers forming a steeple.

Café Signes – 33, avenue Jean Moulin – 75014 Paris (Métro Alésia Ligne #4). Bus : 62, 28, 38, PC. Périphérique : Porte de Châtillon ou Porte d’Orléans – Tél. 01 45 39 37 40. Web :

[via europeonwheels and Entraide Universit�]

tags: france

November 1st, 2005 by