LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – Many of us go into a restaurant or coffee shop, glance at the menu and order what we want.

However, most of the time that is not possible for those who are visually impaired or blind, but Dig It! Coffee is looking to make a difference. On Tuesday morning, 13-year-old Alexis Tolentino-Rodriguez walked into the coffee shop to get a drink.

Though the menu was on the board, Alexis was not able to see it. He needed to feel the menu.

At Dig It! Coffee, a braille menu was launched earlier this morning to help customers like Alexis. The coffee shop is already known for hiring employees with intellectual disabilities so they can have a purpose in the workforce, but now that purpose is spreading to customers like Alexis, who is blind.

While FOX5 was there, Alexis studied the braille menu for a few minutes and then ordered himself a lemonade. What we did not know was that order was a big deal for him.

“This is my first time ordering by myself,” Alexis told us.

That is because when he usually goes to other businesses, his mom or sister has to read the menu to him, as not many offer a braille menu. Alexis being able to order himself something off the menu was also a big deal for Taylor Chaney, the owner of Dig It! Coffee.

“That’s the opportunity that I hoped to create for people, is that they can come in and be independent and have an opportunity to order for themselves,” Chaney said.

Not only does the coffee shop have a braille menu, but they are also offering a menu in a larger font for those who are visually impaired. The shop also offers an online interpreter at the cash register for those who are deaf—free of cost.

“Either way, we kind of hoped to catch the spectrum of people to allow them to be a part of what we are doing,” Chaney said.

Chaney said the Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation helped create the braille menu for them.

She hopes other restaurants will pick up on this and offer braille menus.


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