A Belconnen casual dining restaurant will soon be deaf-friendly, as part of a project that teaches staff members sign language.

Australian family-owned restaurant brand Rashays has announced that it is working towards making each of its 22 restaurants across Australia deaf-friendly by making it mandatory for all staff to learn basic Auslan, Australian sign language.

Rashays founder Rami Ykmour said there are deaf restaurants where deaf people are employed, but the group shall be the first to employ hearing staff and make it mandatory for them to learn basic Auslan.

Each employee will have access to an internal sign-language training portal at Rashays Training Academy, meaning there will be at least one member of staff who can sign on each shift at each of the twenty venues across Australia.

The program is still a work in progress, with the goal for all restaurants to be deaf friendly by 2019, but the current plan involves bringing on deaf employees and an interpreter to train Rashays staff.

The early training sessions will be recorded, so that future employees will have access to resources for their own training.

Currently 35 staff members at Rashays’ Punchbowl venue have embraced the training with gusto.

In addition to the sign-language online training technology at the Academy, Rashays has also committed to employing more members of staff that have hearing difficulties.