deaffriendly.com is the new face of crowd sourcing: Bringing awareness to deaf-friendly businesses, and corrective feedback to deaf-challenged businesses. Reviewers fit a number of categories: deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing (hh), friends/family of the deaf and those with a special interest in creating a deaf-friendly world.
Our philosophy is simple: Businesses are as plentiful as oxygen – so why not make sure you have plenty of awesome choices? During your daily activities (shopping, banking, eating out), you’re either going to come across a deaf-friendly business or you’re not. Sharing your insight is what slowly improves both your experience as a consumer and the businesses customer service. Unlike mystery shopping, as a deaf consumer, you make “deaf reviews” everyday of your life.
Now, you can share your experiences on a much-needed public platform. We invite you to join us on our mission to create a deaf-friendly world. By writing consumer reviews, we can increase deaf-friendliness in millions of businesses across the nation.
How did deaffriendly.com come into being?
Caution: This story may very well be – or become – your own! Once upon a time, a deaf Seattle entrepreneur tried to order Indian takeout from a local restaurant, by placing a relay call. Countless rejected calls later, it became clear that some businesses have a long way to go in providing good customer service for deaf/HH customers. So she jumped into her car and went to the restaurant armed with a mantra: “patience, understanding, education.” With these three key traits at the forefront of her mind, the restaurant was able to learn about the relay service, the staff took her order in no time and she was able to get her much needed-Indian fix. Now, whenever she calls in, the restaurant knows her by name and accepts her relay calls without hesitation. Result: It worked!
Acceptance of relay calls is only one example – but each victory adds up to creating a more deaf-friendly world.
Two-way education is deaffriendly.com’s mantra: Both businesses and consumers need to learn how to work together. With a long history of oppression, many in the deaf/hh community tend to grit their teeth, bite their tongue (or only complain to their deaf peers) and vow to never use that business again. This leads to another vicious cycle - business owners never upgrading their customer service model. Reviews are one educational resource, and others will be shared on this website in the form of expert interviews, how-to articles and helpful tips for both businesses and consumers.
The Web already has review sites such as Yelp! and City Search, so why do we need deaffriendly.com?
The same reason a vegetarian needs vegguide.com, a gay person needs a guide to LGBT-friendly businesses, or a young family needs a guide to family-friendly resorts. If you’re one of the 38 million deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing individuals living in the US, your crowd is right here among others who share your life experiences and consumer needs. This is what separates us from other review sites. We also save you decision-making time: When you have 17 dentists, 23 chiropractors and 100 restaurants nearby, deaffriendly.com offers custom content compared to review sites tailored to customers who, by and large, are hearing individuals.