Deaf-Owned Crepe Crazy Provides Employment Opportunities for the Deaf Community
While you can find a sea of fine restaurants in Austin, you will find only one decadently delicious place for crepes. Crepe Crazy is the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities choice for the Lex Frieden 2017 Small Employer Award. This award recognizes small Texas employers who have fostered a diverse and accessible work environment and who have developed innovative ways to integrate people with disabilities into the workplace.
Crepe Crazy is a successful café owned by a husband and wife team who are Deaf, Vladimir and Inna Giterman. Originally they operated out of a food truck, still in use for catering opportunities, frequenting local Austin events. As customers continued to ask about their physical location, they finally opened shop in Dripping Springs in 2014 and in Austin in 2015.
The Giterman’s believe in giving Texans who are deaf opportunities to work because they know how hard it is for people who are deaf to find jobs. According to the 2016 National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes, Deaf People and Employment in the United States report “In 2014, only 48% of deaf people were employed compared to 72% of hearing people. This is a significant gap.”
The gap is all but closed at Crepe Crazy with only two hearing employees, the owners are deaf, the chef is deaf, shift leads are deaf, managers are deaf, and more. All staff sign fluently using American Sign Language making communication barriers nonexistent.
Although you might wonder about the customers, it’s not an issue. Crepe Crazy takes call-in to-go orders using video phone technology and communicates with restaurant customers who don’t sign using creative ways from eWriter tablets to “point (at the menu) and order”, among other strategies. It’ a win-win situation all around.
Crepe Crazy is located at 3103 S. Lamar in Austin where they take orders for delivery, and 660B W. U.S. 290 in Dripping Springs. Check out the menu, order on-line or look into catering a business holiday event atCrepecrazy.com. To learn more about Crepe Crazy’s history go to the Austin American-Statesman at Deaf-owned Crêpe Crazy business speaks the universal language of food or Austinot.com. The Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities and the office staff congratulate Crepe Crazy as the Lex Frieden Small Employer Award winner!
SOURCE: The Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (Committee)