Check out this amazing display of kindness when a restaurant wrote out happy birthday in braille for one of their guests who were blind.
Natalie Te Paa, a blind singer-songwriter, was in London for her birthday with her friend Claire Sara. The two decided to go get a meal together at a restaurant called Luciano. What happened after they ate their meal surprised them both. The staff at the restaurant presented Natalie with a plate that read “happy birthday” written in Braille using chocolate!
“No freaking way! They did not!” Natalie exclaimed as she used her hands to feel the raised chocolate dots. “Oh my gosh! Are you kidding me? That is insane. Thank you so much.”
Before when Natalie would celebrate her birthday in restaurants, the staff would sing to her like they do for most birthday guests. But this was the very first time a restaurant had accommodated her disability in such a special way. The staff went to great lengths to celebrate Natalie on her birthday – from looking up how to write the message in Braille to making sure the chocolate was cold enough so it would not melt when Natalie touched it.
Natalie’s friend, Claire, took a video of the sweet moment, and she shared it online. The touching scene went viral with the video being viewed more than 16 million times and receiving over 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,” Natalie shared.
And the birthday girl goes on to talk about how she hopes the video will lead people to have 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. So, the fact that they did that for us really opened up a conversation of awareness,” she said. “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,” Natalie shared. “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.”
What a sweet moment and a creative way to make this birthday girl feel special and included!