Readable menus for blind restaurant patrons in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Sight-challenged restaurant patrons have more options to independently order food in Northampton restaurants because braille menus are available in the city, and there is a plan to include even more eateries.

The Northampton City Council Social Services subcommittee heard a report on the braille menu program Monday night.

Many of Northampton’s eateries offer the enhanced menus to their sight-challenegd customers, and the people who use the service say it’s more about equal access than mere convenience.

Tori Eklund chairs the Northamton Commission on Disabilities. She told 22News she had a very positive experience at a Northampton restaurant recently when the server handed her a menu with raised braille characters.

“It was great. I could look at the menu myself with my sighted friend,” said Eklund, “and be independent and not have to wait for her to read things (to me) and just look at what I wanted to look at. It just was wonderful.”

The Northampton Disabilities Commission and the city council hope to expand the braille menu program to include even more Northampton restaurants.

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