Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 15 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. César de Bus
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

This new restaurant chain seeks hearing-impaired employees


MozzeriaSF | Instagram | Fair Use

Sophia Swinford - published on 04/18/18

Two friends are creating an environment where everyone feels at home.

The deaf community is disproportionately unemployed compared to their hearing peers, and, of those who are employed, 56 percent report experiencing workplace discrimination due to their disability. But the Mozzeria restaurant chain is about to help fix that, not only by creating more jobs for deaf people but also by creating a welcoming environment for all.

After meeting at Gallaudet University, the founders decided to open a pizzeria together, but they had a second dream in mind, as well. Inspired by their own experiences and difficulties with being deaf, Russ and Melody hired an all-deaf staff for their restaurant to improve job availability and to become an example for other organizations that deafness does not impair one’s competence in the workplace.

But their restaurant has become a welcome refuge not only for the deaf community but for all kinds of people. “I have to adapt daily, so I’ve become used to this,” Russ explained. “When people come in here who don’t speak English, they don’t feel different.” By using a combination of hand gestures and written notes, Mozzeria has managed to eliminate communication barriers to create an easy and amiable experience for their customers and employees. Now, by turning their creation into a restaurant chain, they are hoping to spread this experience across the country.

You can watch the full interview with Russ and Melody below.

Read more:
Young Deaf People Travel from Argentina to Meet Pope Francis

DisabilitiesPracticing Mercy
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.