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STARBUCKS IS NOW WELCOMING DEAF CUSTOMERS AT ITS STORE IN THE US

By Geetika Raleh . 26th October 2018 09:00am
STARBUCKS IS NOW WELCOMING DEAF CUSTOMERS AT ITS STORE IN THE US

The famous coffee shop in the world, Starbucks, has opened its first sign store in the US, meaning its staff will be the employees who will be able to communicate in American Sign Language (ASL).

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starbucks-gabruu


It was in the month of July that the company had announced that it was converting the Starbucks near Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. into a sign store. Gallaudet is one of the main universities for students who are deaf or suffer hearing impaired.

Actress Marlee Matlin was the first customer who tweeted about her visit to the sign language store.

Starbucks made a statement which said, The store will create a distinctive retail experience for all customers while offering a unique store format that promotes accessibility and offers employment and career advancement opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing people.

The Seattle based company’s first Signing Store was first opened in Malaysia in 2016. A group of employees working at American Starbucks traveled to Kuala Lumpur to celebrate the shop’s one year anniversary and also to study the sign store. Now after almost a year, the Washington D.C. Signing Store has finally opened.

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"The National Association of the Deaf applauds Starbucks for opening a Signing Store that employs Deaf and hard of hearing people," Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, said in a statement. "Starbucks has taken an innovative approach to incorporate Deaf Culture that will increase employment opportunities as well as accessibility for Deaf and hard of hearing people, while at the same time educating and enlightening society."

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Baristas at the store at 6th and H Streets wear “I Sign” aprons and buttons illustrated with the word "Starbucks" spelled in sign language. The aprons were embroidered by a deaf supplier. The coffee shop had customized and re-designed its store, from exclusive artwork to a mug and all of these were designed by a deaf artist.

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Low-glare reflective surfaces which are a special feature for deaf have also been incorporated in the store. These initiatives were created by the Deaf Leadership of Starbucks Access Alliance.

And the company also welcomes the customers who aren’t deaf. Starbucks said, "For customers new to sign language, the store will offer communication options for ordering and receiving beverages at the hand-off counter."