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Deaf waitress breaking down communication barriers at Chesterfield restaurant

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A Chesterfield restaurant is breaking down communication barriers one sign at a time.

Sierra Campbell is a server at Orexi Greek and Mediterranean restaurant off Hull street in Midlothian.

The 22-year-old was born completely deaf but that didn’t stop owners Rasool and Angie Al Hasani from hiring her last January.

Sierra Campbell

They adjusted their menu to include common signs and the alphabet. They also adjusted learned sign and their customers are learning to do the same.

“We’d go to the tables together and I would talk to the person that was here and I would tell them this is how you can order. You just point to what you want and if there is something you don’t want you just point to that ingredient and shake your head no,” said Angie.

“I see a couple families, they try to talk and look at the picture and that make me excited,” said Rasool.

Rasool and Angie Al Hasani

“It was extremely easy,” said customer Maxwell Kanczuzewski. “All I had to do was point on the menu and use the different modifiers to get what I needed, and service was no different than any other restaurant I’ve been in.”

“I think everyone needs a chance and that’s a great way to give somebody the opportunity to work and feel good about themselves,” said customer Kerra English.

Sierra went to the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind. From there, she attended Gallaudet University.  She is working two jobs to save up enough money to attend VCU where she wants to study to be a social worker to help the deaf.

Sierra Campbell

“I feel good working here at this restaurant,” explained server Sierra Campbell through sign language. “I have a lot of regular customers, they come in and want to see me and that makes me feel good.”

Sierra says the Hasanis feel like family.

The Hasanis say Sierra keeps them calm and positive in a difficult industry.

“We’re lucky to have Sierra here with us,” said Angie. “She’s taught us all a lot about having a positive attitude. Sierra has saved us more than a couple times because she tells us ‘take a breath.’  Sierra has taught me what it means to be a good caring person.”

13979 Raised Antler Cir, Midlothian, VA 23112