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According to cnn.com the store will open in Washing DC which is home to Gallaudet University, the world’s only liberal arts institution of higher learning for the deaf.
The store will have its grand opening in October 2018 and will include hiring at least 20 deaf and hard of hearing employees.
Not only that but all hearing partners working there will also be required to become fluent in American Sign Language!
Deaf employees will wear aprons that show “Starbucks” spelled in sign language, while Hearing employees proficient in sign language will wear pins showing they can sign.
Rossann Williams, Starbucks executive vice president of U.S. retail, said in a statement QUOTE, “This is a historic moment in Starbucks’ ongoing journey to connect with the deaf and hard of hearing community, hire and engage deaf and hard of hearing partners, and continue to find ways to be more inclusive, accessible and welcoming to all,”
A visual display will walk customers through their orders, and a similar display will show customers that their orders are ready, in place of baristas calling out a name or order.
According to Starbucks the Washington store will also have art by deaf and hard-of-hearing artists and will hold events for the local deaf community!
While the signing store will be the first of its kind in the United States, Starbucks has worked with the deaf community in other markets.
At a Starbucks store in Malaysia, customers place orders using a menu card that they mark up and hand off to a barista.
Deaf partners hand write notes to interact with customers and then the customers see that their beverages are ready when a screen displays a number that matches one on their receipts.
The announcement of the signing store comes three months after Starbucks was criticized that its stores weren’t inclusive.
But now we want to hear from you guys! What are your thoughts on Starbucks initiating its first Signing Store? Let us know in the comments below. When you’re done with that click right over here to check out why starbucks is eliminating plastic straws!
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