In Ho Chi Minh City, it is estimated that there are around 3,550 deaf and hearing impaired people according to the information from the Department of Labour and Social Welfare in 2006. Many of the deaf and hearing impaired have become role models for their energy, passion and contributions to society.

Despite their own efforts and the support of community organizations, the deaf and hearing impaired community still faces many challenges in learning, employment, community integration and creating a stable life. Government funding is not sufficient. Part of this is social stigma within society and part is the lack of caring for deaf and hearing impaired people in general.

Many deaf and hearing impaired people are afraid to use sign language or do not want to be seen using it. This is often stimulated by their parents and other family members who are embarrassed and do not want to have the feeling that other people will think their children are considered dim-witted.

Nowadays the use of sign language is stimulated by schools and more and more parents are promoting the use of sign language; before nobody thought of sign language as a language in its own right.

Education in sign language is provided in major cities in Vietnam, some of those funded by international foundations. However some sign language schools have shut down because they were unable to get funding from the local government. Many schools for the deaf provide students with hearing aids and continue instructing them in spoken language and require them to read lips. As a result there are many drop-outs; many students simply  do not finish secondary school. Many deaf and hearing impaired who are going to school are several years behind in education.

Job training and creating stable jobs for deaf people is limited in Ho Chi Minh City. There are employment options in factories; many shoe and clothing factories hire deaf and hearing impaired persons. Furthermore there are some vocational training centres teaching hair dressing and make-up skills. For those with computer skills, there are possibilities in the field of graphic design. However employment opportunities remain low and unemployment rate is high. There are no concrete numbers, however it is estimated that about 65 to 70% of the deaf and hearing impaired are without jobs. For those “work” is often unskilled labour and the average monthly income remains low. Most of them are still highly dependent on their families.

After the success of Noir. Dining in the Dark with employment of blind and visually impaired staff, we  have opened at Blanc. the door to another career for the deaf and hearing impaired. Through our innovative training techniques, we improve these talented individuals’ self confidence and career trajectory. We are proud to put them in a position where they assume responsibility for our guests and let guests communicate in the hearing impaired own language; sign language.

Since we started with this project, we have been inspired by the deaf and hearing impaired people and we are dedicated to the deaf community. A certain percentage of our profits will be donated to charities which work with local deaf and hearing impaired people, including organizations which provide operations hearing aids to deaf and hearing impaired children.