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Starbucks sign language store opens for the first time in the United States


Starbucks opens its first signing store in the United States in Washington, DC in October.

cup Starbucks coffee should now be much easier for hearing impaired – at least in Washington, DC

Starbucks has opened its first American cafe staffed by employees who are totally or partially deaf and able to communicate in American sign language.

The coffee company opened the Tuesday store, as it calls a signing store, near Gallaudet University in Washington. The chain hired as many 25 people from all over the country as Kn o W ASL works in the store, which was converted in recent months from an existing Starbucks place.

"All barriers are away from communicating or from people who can demonstrate their skills and showcase talent they have," said Marthalee Galeota, General Manager of Accessibility at Starbucks, in a statement. "We believe that this store celebrates the culture of human connection at a deep level."

Washington's location was modeled at the Seattle-based coffee chain's first signing shop, which opened in Malaysia in 2016, said the company. open a United States signing shop that crystallizes after American Starbucks employees traveled to Kuala Lumpur to study it there.

"The store will create a distinctive retail experience for all customers, while offering a unique store format that promotes availability and offers employment and career opportunities for deaf and hearing impaired," Starbucks said in a statement in July 2018 when announcing its plans. 19659008] Deaf baristas in the shop on the sixth and the h street wearing ASL aprons embroidered by a deaf supplier. Baristas who can communicate in sign language will have an "I Sign" stick.

The shop is also equipped with digital displays and notebooks and an order console with two-way keypad so customers and employees can write back and forth.

The coffee bar also boasts exclusive artwork, including custom coffee mugs and e A mural consisting of ASL signs for coffee and deaf culture.

"In the middle of the play, You can see two very strong hands, arms raised, rising from the bottom of the art," says Yiqiao Wang, a deaf artist and adjunct professor at Gallaudet University, in a description of the store at Starbucks website. "Deaf people can see it. It means society in ASL, bringing different backgrounds, languages ​​and people together. "

" Starbucks has taken an innovative approach to incorporating deaf culture that will increase employment opportunities as well as accessibility for deaf and hearing impaired while simultaneously educating and enlightening communities, "said Howard Rosenblum, Managing Director of Deaf Association, when Starbucks announced its plan for the store.

The announcement of signing came three months after Starbucks was drawn into the national spotlight, criticizing the fact that the stores were not inclusive.

By mid-April two African-American men were arrested for assault at one of Philadelphia's Philadelphia sites after refusing to buy anything while waiting for a business meeting. Its senior executives asked for repeated apologies and settled with the two men for an unknown amount of money. Six weeks later, the chain also held race-based training for its 8000 employees plus company-owned American stores and corporate headquarters.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Zlati Meyer on Twitter: @ZlatiMeyer

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