Restaurant Workers Surprise Blind Customer with Birthday Message in Braille
Natalie Te Paa was dining at Luciano by Gina D’Acampo in London for her birthday. Te Paa and her friend, Claire Sara, stopped by the restaurant without notice after seeing a show nearby. Sara informed the restaurant that it was her friend’s birthday.
The restaurant staff presented Te Paa, a singer-songwriter originally from Auckland, New Zealand who now lives in the U.K, with a plate that had “happy birthday” written in Braille using chocolate.
As she felt the raised dots, Te Paa exclaimed, “No freaking way! They did not! Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me? That is insane. Thank you so much.”
The restaurant’s general manager, Giovanni Gallucio, told TODAY that they usually use melted chocolate to write birthday messages, but this was the first Braille message they wrote for a guest.
Te Paa said she had celebrated her birthday in restaurants before where the staff would sing for her, but this was the first time a restaurant has accommodated her disability in such a way. She was especially touched by the effort from the staff, from looking up how to write the message in Braille to ensuring the chocolate was cold enough so it would not melt when she touched it.
Te Paa’s friend captured the touching moment which was later shared to TikTok, where the video has been viewed more than 16 million times and received 4.3 million likes.
“The fact that people have responded so much and so well to it just shows how much the world needs kindness right now, how much the world needs a message of hope, needs to see people doing things and going above and beyond for each other,” she said. She hopes the video will lead to a larger conversation about inclusivity.
“Blindness is not easy. There are a lot of times that you do face discrimination, you do face things that are challenging and tough and difficult,” she said. “So the fact that they did that for us really opened up a conversation of awareness. We’ve had comments from restaurant owners and chefs being like, ‘I’ve never thought of this idea.’
“We need to make it more inclusive for people of all disabilities … Being able to learn how to get on the level of the person you’re seeing in front of you. If just one restaurant is inspired to make their service more inclusive, that’s all I could ask for.”
Image source: Yahoo News