NEWARK, New Jersey -- Deaf's Delight Cafe, the first Deaf and hard of hearing cafe in Newark, New Jersey, has finally opened its doors.
"I'm trying to bring two worlds together. I want the hearing community to realize that the deaf community is here," said Sandra Rivers, owner of Deaf's Delight Cafe.
Opened as a tribute to her parents, Rivers is now welcoming the Deaf and hard of hearing community to a safe space created specifically to address their needs.
The pandemic and a robbery may have stalled the grand opening of Deaf's Delight, but those obstacles only strengthened Rivers and her commitment to serve a community that oftentimes feels isolated and overseen.
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Rivers recalls watching her mom, who was Deaf, live out a life within a society that she considers wasn't built for them.
"Here in Newark we have 22,000 individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, so that alone is a big job," Rivers said.
Considering the challenging times and the lack of grants she qualifies for, has led Rivers to start a GoFundMe, with hopes that the community can help her business stay afloat.
"I want to be the change and make the change and that is why we're sitting here now at Deaf's Delight Cafe," said Rivers.
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Deaf's Delight Cafe: First of its kind for the Deaf and hard of hearing in New Jersey