Imagine a market where food vendors take your order in American Sign Language (ASL) and several of the employees are deaf. This utopia for deaf shoppers is a reality at Union Market in northeast Washington, D.C.
The market’s deaf-friendly ambiance is directly correlated to its close proximity to the Gallaudet University campus, at the site of the former Union Terminal Market, which opened in 1931. The latest version of the market is an eclectic mix of upscale food vendors and boutiques-and one of the largest segments of its consumers is the Gallaudet community. This not only makes it in the proprietors’ best interests to facilitate communication with deaf shoppers, it also offers Gallaudet students an opportunity for jobs.