Deaf and Unemployed, They’re Creating Their Own Jobs

Deaf-owned businesses are booming.

Faced with widespread, chronic unemployment, but also benefiting from improvements in communication technology, deaf people are creating their own businesses and pushing employers to become more deaf and sign-language friendly, National Public Radio reports.

In Maryland alone, according to NPR, there are now more than 75 deaf-owned businesses, and Kelby Brick, director of the Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, says this “deaf ecosystem” is growing rapidly.

Around the country, deaf-owned businesses are popping up — including Mozzeria, a California pizza restaurant; Deaf Friendly, a Yelp-like platform that directs users to bartenders who sign, or places that play the music loud enough; or, which provides tax preparation services in American Sign Language.

Deaf-owned businesses hire deaf people, creating more opportunity and economic security.

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