PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “Hello, welcome to Kings. My name is Ashley. I’m your server. What can I get you to drink?”
Waitress Ashley Carney uses sign language as she waits on Taylor Doyka. Taylor, deaf since birth, appreciates the effort made on her behalf.
Her friend, Emily Gabriel, herself a part-time waitress at Kings in Delmont, taught fellow employees the art of sign language.
“Emily had everyone come back in the back and we all came in and learned a little bit of everything,” Ashley recalls. “She went through as much as she could, and then we tried to copy her.”
Emily is a junior, minoring in sign language, at Saint Francis University in Loretto.
As part of a class project, she asked manager Jim Pochedly if she could teach sign language to a couple of waitresses.
“He was actually like, why don’t you teach everyone?” Emily says. “And it just kind of snowballed.”
She’s thrilled by the response of fellow waitresses.
“Taught them for about an hour one day, at the beginning of the month. And then I left. I had to go back to school. They really took the initiative and practiced on their own, worked with each other here at Kings, and it’s just been a wonderful experience.”
Her friend, Taylor, who will attend Gallaudet University in the fall, says the staff at Kings has opened to the door to her peers.
“I’m really proud that they have somewhere to go, and have an easy time to have dinner or lunch or breakfast,” she adds. “I think it’s really amazing.”