How can tech and coffee support the deaf?

Thanks to a simple design solution, Britehouse has created an opportunity for hearing impaired barista, Herold Hlophe to work at one of its coffee bars. It does this by enabling customers to place their order using a sign language menu.

Graduate baristas

Herold and his fellow barista, Olga Masondo, are graduates of Ciro’s Barista Upliftment Programme, which trains unemployed youth to become internationally accredited baristas. The tech company is the first to employ a deaf graduate and in-keeping with their specialism, have created an app to support the bar. Using the app, staff members can reward each other with virtual coffee beans that can be spent at the bar and share sign language learning resources.


Regulars to the coffee bar are enthused to learn a new language. Herold is trained to teach and sign language cards are regularly used. This provides a unique opportunity for coffee drinkers to learn to sign, who report often feeling inspired to learn more so that they can communicate with Herold further.

This story shows how Britehouse supports Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities, specifically Target 10.2: “By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.”

About Britehouse

Britehouse (a division of Dimension Data) is an African-based company providing industry-leading digital solutions to fellow African and global companies. It partners with the best technologies such as SAP, Oracle and Microsoft and complements these with its own mobile and software products.

Learn more about Britehouse.

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