STAFF at an Oswaldtwistle pub have been learning sign language to make deaf customers feel more welcome.

The White Bull, in New Lane, is training all of its staff in the gestural method of communication to ensure that all customers are able to understand and enjoy their visit.

Josh Allen, the owner, introduced the training to his staff after a deaf customer had to rely on a friend to translate the pub’s messages to him.

He said: “A few weeks ago we had a deaf person come in and he had someone with him who had to relay everything to him in sign language.

“We had to go through his friend the entire time he was there and it felt like we weren’t being inclusive and giving him that personal customer service we give to everyone else.

“Now, we are able to speak with him, and make sure we can help those who sign to communicate with us and feel more welcome.

“This is in effort for us not only to be more inclusive but to also make the drinking and dining experience even more special.”

Josh recruited a friend to come into the pub and teach his workers how to sign to ensure future customers who rely on sign language would feel welcome and included.

Six staff have been trained in using sign language so far, and another lesson will be held soon to teach the remaining two members of staff.

Customers have reacted very positively to the move, praising the business for their efforts and hoping other local firms will follow suit.

Josh added: “We have a variety of people who come in and need staff to speak another language, and sign language is one of the main things which is becoming a growing concern.

“They’re trying to teach it in schools now to children so I thought we should have some lessons too so we can help.

“We’ve only covered some basic language such as prices, times, and what food we’re serving but it’s more than enough to be able to communicate effectively with people who rely on sign language.

“We can now explain the menu to people who are fully or partially deaf and need things to be signed to them so they don’t have to rely on a friend to act as an interpreter.”

The White Bull is open from Tuesday to Sunday each week. Food is served each day except Tuesday.

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