Social Enterprise Profile: DeafCan! Coffee

Who doesn’t love coffee? (Well, Staff Member Sarah doesn’t, but we all know about her.) Even Staff Member Sarah keeps coffee in her home, and enthusiastically supports the mission of DeafCan! Coffee.

DeafCan! Coffee runs out of a small coffee shop in the Carribean Christian Centre for the Deaf in Kingston, Jamaica. A group of Deaf teen boys from CCCD, painfully mindful of the stigma and lack of opportunity associated with being Deaf, met with Evelyn Clarke, a Deaf man in a neighbouring community who taught them how to grow and roast coffee. The students started their own business roasting, packaging, and selling coffee at their school, training other students and operating a mobile shop in their community.

DeafCan Coffee’s vision is “a future of empowered Deaf people thriving in their careers and a broader society that recognizes the inherent worth and abilities of all people” with a very clear mission:

We exist to inspire Deaf youth to believe in their talents and abilities, engage their passions and interests and foster creative, positive thought in a healthy community that builds each other up and equips them for life, work and family. We will accomplish this through a sustainable coffee venture known by customers for a great product, talented staff and enjoyable experience.

Deaf Can Website

Deaf Can! Coffee does everything using sign language, from training staff and training them to train other staff to taking and filling orders (from everyone, not just people who can use sign language) to talking to people about Deaf Can! Coffee and what it does. The goal is to empower Deaf youth, to counteract for both them and for society the message currently out there that disabled people in general and Deaf people in particular aren’t able to do anything, and in doing so make people reconsider the narrative that Deaf people need to be “cured” or “fixed” (again, a common narrative about disabled people in general). One of Deaf Can! Coffee co-founders explains:

The services that Deaf Can! Coffee offers to the community include:

  • A wide range of beverages out of their small shop at the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf.
  • Catered coffee service for special events
  • An expo mini-shop

Bringing Deaf Can! Coffee to any sort of corporate event to provide coffee service services is an excellent way for a business to show its commitment to corporate social responsibility.

The most important thing about Deaf Can! Coffee is that the staff love being involved and are fully supportive of its mission. Several speak about it in videos on https://www.deafcancoffee.com/, but this one was especially striking:

Look for more of these profiles in the near future!

Best Regards,

The Community Innovation Hub Staff

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