Many Restaurants Provide Braille Menus
Do you have a friend or relative that has serious trouble reading menus at restaurants or one that is totally blind? There is no need to read them every item on the menu any longer. Over 10,000 restaurants nationwide are now providing a Braille and Large Print menu for those who cannot see or distinguish printed words. Braille is a method of embossing paper so that sight-impaired people can read and write. It was invented by Louis Braille in 1824. Read his biography to learn the interesting details of his discovery.
With competition for all types of customers on the rise in the food industry, many restaurants will now provide a Braille menu upon request. Some of them only have one copy, but at least your dining partner will feel more like one of the gang and be able to make their own choice before the waiter loses patience!
Since 2001, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has set regulations for accommodating people with various impairments; one of which includes advising businesses to provide Braille and Large Print materials so their clientele may receive comparable service to those with sight.
News sources such as USA Today show that nearly 50% of people over 65 have at least one chronic eye-related disease and with the Baby Boomer population aging, there are more visually-impaired people than ever before. It has been reported by Prevent Blindness America that over 30 million Americans suffer from an eye disease that affects their ability to read…that’s a number that is growing daily. And those people that have lost some or all of their sight still enjoy dining out as much as they did when they could still see or read easily.
Olive Garden, Applebee’s, and The Cheesecake Factory are pioneers in providing Braille menus. These menus help blind people feel less conspicuous when placing food orders in public restaurants while also offering them the independence to choose their own meals in a timely fashion.
Many restaurants provide Large Print menus and are incorporating Braille menus at their locations nationwide. Here are just a few of them:
- Chuck E. Cheese
- On The Border
- The Black-Eyed Pea
If you own a restaurant and would like to have a menu translated and printed for you, it can be done by contacting specialty printers in almost every state in the U.S. For example, The Kansas Braille Transcription Institute can produce one copy for about $50.00, or All Braille in Connecticut specializes in Braille signs, business cards and office correspondence of all kinds. One Braille design shop In Ohio, the Menu Guru, not only designs and prints menus, but also offers place cards for special events and direct mail pieces to generate return and new business.
Once the word gets out, your clientele will appreciate your community spirit. And who knows where that could lead? There is a whole market just waiting to be explored by companies that are perceived to understand the needs of the sight-impaired.
Remember, any major restaurant you visit these days should have at least one copy of a Braille menu. Don’t be afraid to ask for one if you need it, and if they don’t have one, ask them why.