Eastward, Ho! deafREVIEW Launches in NYC, Rochester, and Metro D.C. Today

Posted by: Staff Writer on April 1, 2013

It's no April Fool's joke. After much social media buzz, voting, and feedback, the verdict is in: deafREVIEW has opened its review platform in not one, not two, but three bustling cities on the East Coast today. That's right -- all three cities have such good review potential, we couldn't simply pick one! If you live in or have visited Washington, D.C., New York City, or Rochester, you can now write consumer reviews about local businesses you frequent. Don't live directly within the city? No problem: You can write reviews within a 60-mile radius of the three major city hubs.

“TRUE BIZ!,” as we'd sign in Deaf parlance. Check out our three new cities to read more than 60 business reviews and growing about a deaf-friendly camera repair shop, a deaf-friendly hospital, a deaf-challenged Citibank and even the deaf-challenged American Museum of Natural History, among many more.

"Today is an exciting day for all deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing consumers coast to coast. When we launched our website in Seattle last year, we weren’t expecting such an enormous response from our East Coast fans! People are hungry to share their consumer experiences (good and bad) and desperate for businesses to start acknowledging and improving their customer service to meet our unique consumer needs. I am happy to expand our review potential to fill the need of three highly deaf-populated cities” said deafREVIEW founder and CEO Melissa "echo" Greenlee.

"New Yorkers are notoriously busy, and sometimes we can't get to see each other enough,” said Guthrie Nutter, the new Review Coordinator for New York City. (deafREVIEW) is a great way to share information from the comfort of our own computers!"

As a community-led search and review-based site for deaf, deaf-blind and hard of hearing communities, we dug high and low all over the country for cities with a solid Deaf Community presence. Plentiful deaf schools? Check. Ample deaf and deaf-blind social services?  Check. Vibrant deaf social scene, with Deaf Arts and theater? Check! 

We looked at all these factors - plus feedback from our East Coast fans. On deafREVIEW's Facebook page, nearly half of the fans who participated in our ongoing poll voted to launch in Rochester, NY.  No surprise: "It is here that the world of the deaf intersects the world of the hearing as in no other city," said a 2006 New York Times article “Where Sign Language is Far From Foreign”. The author marveled at ASL-fluent waitresses, videophone-equipped doctors’ offices, and always-captioned theaters.

Seven years later, Rochester – the World's Image Center – remains home to National Technical Institute of the Deaf as well as Rochester Institute of Technology. Five hours south, New York City - the Big Apple is home to seven prominent deaf schools. Within the city's melting pot, diverse deaf organizations bloom: Deaf Women United Greater New York, Deaf International Club of Greater NY, Metropolitan Asian Deaf Association, New York City Black Deaf Advocates and the Beth Torah of the Deaf.

Michael Cooper, a former New Yorker who now teaches college-level American Sign Language in Seattle, pointed out the demographic potential of an East Coast launch: "New York City is the largest city in the USA, and one-eighths of the ENTIRE U.S. population alone lives in the greater NYC Metro. Can you imagine the infinite opportunities to educate hearing people about Deaf needs in the Greater NYC Metro through deafREVIEW?"

Last but not the least, metro Washington D.C. is home to Gallaudet University, the world's only Deaf Liberal Arts College. Even hearing residents of D.C. are regularly exposed to Deaf Culture, and can check Gallaudet's online calendar to partake in Deaf Events. With one of the largest concentrations of deaf/hh people in the nation, Metro D.C. (which includes cities Virginia and Maryland) is full of unlimited reviewer potential.

Whether you live a Birkenstocks-and-tech lifestyle, or sign at a New York pace (meaning, Gally-fast) while donning your Wall Street finest at the F-train, we share a unique experience: Being deaf/hh in a hearing world. That includes frequenting businesses which are (by and large) hearing-owned and hearing-staffed.

Let the battle of East vs. West be no more! If you're a frequent transnational flier (check out our recent "Wander-List: Why Deaf People Love to Travel" you're probably always asking Facebook friends where to find deaf-friendly restaurants, museums, and services on the other side of the country. Help your brethren out - write a review today! What better time than now, a year after our Seattle flagship city launch? 

Thanks to fans like you, deafREVIEW now has over 5,000 unique site visitors a month, over 3,000 Facebook fans, and is on its way to reaching the 500-review milestone. Making further inroads after our October 2012 launch in California (San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego), our solid West Coast presence is ready to make a deaf-friendly march toward the East.

Ready to write a review for East Coast businesses? Click here to visit our website, register for a free profile and start by entering a local business into the search bar. Living on the East Coast, but in a city we haven't launched in? Tell us on our Subscribe page, and we'll do our best to put your city on our review radar!

For those that missed the VLOG announcing our launch, you can check it out here: 



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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