H Street NE Bars and Restaurants Reach Out to Their Deaf Neighbors

Feb 20th, 2014 | By | Category: Business, Community, Entertainment, News, Washington, DC

“Are you ready to start?” the trivia announcer shouts into the microphone at H Street NE restaurant Vendetta.

Silence.

The place is so quiet that the bartenders don’t need to speak above a whisper, and I can hear a group across the room clink its beer glasses. Yet the place is packed for a Monday night. Not a seat remains at the second-floor bar, and even the bocce courts have been covered by tables and chairs to make more room for the 80 or more attendees. Unlike every other trivia night in town, no one is shouting over each other. Instead, groups of friends are conversing with their hands at Vendetta’s first-ever American Sign Language trivia night. As far as its organizers are aware, it’s also the first bar trivia night of its kind in the District.

The event isn’t so different from trivia at Stoney’s or Wonderland Ballroom—except every question is asked both verbally and through American Sign Language.

“What city’s drivers owe over $460 million in parking fines every year?” (New York.)

“What part of the body is most commonly bitten by insects?” (The foot.)

And then the round of trivia devoted solely to deaf culture: “Who is the first deaf Major League Baseball player?” (William Ellsworth Hoy, a.k.a. Dummy Hoy.)

Read more @ The Washington City Paper

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