Best of 2017: Deaf-Friendly Businesses

Posted by: Staff Writer on Dec. 28, 2017

We are counting down to the close of the year where we reflect on 2017 and celebrate; we get to raise our glasses and say cheers to the upper echelon, the very best, the cream of the crop- the most Deaf-Friendly Businesses of 2017!  

A common theme emerged as we poured through the reviews of 2017 and tallied up those that received the most reviews this year.

Reviewers have chimed in and have all agreed, theses businesses are not only the best at providing deaf-friendly customer service across the board, they are a notch above at providing deaf-friendly services consistently. In alphabetical order, without further adieu, we give you the top three.

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ACT Theatre Logo in black, red and white     ACT Theatre - Seattle, WA

  • Positive Attitude
  • Assisted Listening Devices
  • Knows Sign Language
  • Schedule/Order On-line or E-mail
  • Subtitles/Closed Caption/Open Caption Makes Eye Contact

Seattle is well known for its community of sophisticated Deaf consumers who are avid patrons of the arts. So when a theatre is providing consistent, stand-out deaf-friendly customer service to Deaf theater-goers you can bet reviewers take note. However you like to enjoy theater: interpreted performances, captioned showings, assistive listening devices, providing a multitude of options demonstrates a business that truly cares about making sure their theatrical productions are accessible for Deaf patrons. Three glowing reviews came in this year to provide accolades not only for the theatrical production of TRIBES but also for the ways in which ACT Theatre ensured Deaf theater-goers had access from the moment they stepped into the lobby until the last curtain call. (Signing-savvy staff at will call, interpreted performances, captioned devices? Yes, please!) But don’t take our word for it, take the word of one of our most prolific, long time reviewers: 

"ACT rocks! The front desk that gives out our will-call tickets seems to always have someone who knows a little bit of sign language. A little goes a long way! I've been to three plays at this location, and I am forever grateful to know that there is a theatre like this one who provides interpreters for plays!” - DeafREVIEWer

Julia Cameron's Magical Mystical Massage logo in pink     Julia Cameron’s Magical Mystical Tour - Longmont, CO

  • Well Lit Environment
  • Assisted Listening Devices
  • Speaks Clearly
  • Schedule/Order On-line or E-mail
  • Service Animal Allowed
  • Makes Eye Contact
  • Accepts Relay Calls
  • Experience Hiring Interpreter
  • Positive Attitude
  • Knows Sign Language

With forty reviews (and counting), and the most recent 12 reviews written in 2017, it is no wonder this business has always placed in our best of each year. Julia Cameron’s Magical Mystical Tour is the absolute personification of providing consistent, deaf-friendly customer service. Offering different types of massage, body painting and photography at their home-base in Longmont, CO, owner Julia Cameron also travels and sets up shop across the country in places as far flung as New York state. Additionally, this business is noteworthy for being a Deaf-Friendly Certified Business, having undergone a rigorous certification process earlier in the year.

"I loved Cam! Super bonus that she's deaf and is ASL fluent! I always like to support a deaf business and it was well worth my every penny. She did an amazing job massaging me for one hour. She made sure I felt comfortable and open. It was an entire experience in itself. I strongly recommend her!!!" - Jules

Porto's Bakery and Cafe logo in cream and brown      Porto’s Bakery and Cafe - Burbank, CA

  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Well Lit Environment
  • Knows Sign Language
  • Makes Eye Contact
  • Positive Attitude
  • Speaks Clearly

A popular Cuban bakery specializing in cakes, pastries, and cafe fare proves that it doesn’t take much to be deaf-friendly and win the hearts (and stomachs) of Deaf consumers. This bakery located in Burbank, CA has cornered the market on how simply being kind and treating Deaf consumers like customers they are eager to serve makes a huge difference in a Deaf consumer’s experience.  When staff members in a business don a positive attitude, a smile, and demonstrate a willingness to engage in flexible communication- this can be all it takes to leave a lasting, positive impression on Deaf reviewers. Each and every reviewer who frequented this bakery commented on their friendly interactions with staff. In fact, this is our very favorite tip for businesses here at deaffriendly.com A positive attitude winning the day? Now that’s worth celebrating.

"Wonderful and friendly workers!  Very accommodating and ready to work with us with great attitudes." - Melissa Elmire Yingst

2018 & Beyond

In uncertain times, people crave the comfortable and the familiar. Deaf consumers are no different. They will return time and again to deaf-friendly businesses, making them their regular theatre, destination cafe, and go-to massage. You can bet reviewers will be writing reviews here on deaffriendly.com, letting the rest of the world (and businesses) know how making creating a deaf-friendly world makes this world a little bit better for everyone.

You can do your part too. If you haven’t yet, register and write a review. If you already write reviews, encourage others to do the same, their and your reviews will make a difference.

Together, we can create a more deaf-friendly world - Lets make 2018 the most deaf-friendly year yet!

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Comment Policy

We’re aware that issues facing the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing Community can become quite passionate and divided. What can we say, we’re a group of passionate people! While we fully support a community full of passion, we also require that comments are respectful. We think negative attitudes and disrespect are a waste of everyone’s time and energy. This doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with people, you just need to do it respectfully. We reserve the right to delete or edit any comments we feel are judgmental, rude, or of attacking nature.

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