Starbucks to open first U.S. ‘signing store,’ will be designed with deaf patrons in mind

Published: Friday, July 20, 2018 @ 9:43 AM

Starbucks to Open First ‘Signing Store’ in U.S.

Starbucks is taking a step to make sure a new store is accessible to those who use sign language to communicate.

The first “Signing Store” in America will open in Washington, D.C. in the fall.

About 20 to 25 employees will be hired from across the country. They will be proficient in American Sign Language, CBS News reported.

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The idea was created with the help from the ASL Deaf Studies Department at Gallaudet University. 
The department is the only liberal arts school for higher learning for the deaf in the world and the store will be located near campus.

This isn’t the first time the company catered to deaf patrons. 

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The first “Signing Store” in the world opened in 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, CNN reported

To acknowledge the signing skills baristas have, they will wear aprons embroidered with ASL signs, CBS News reported. The employees will also wear a pin that says “I Sign.”

The cafe will also feature artwork and a mug designed by a deaf artist. 

The the store, which will be done at a current Starbucks location, will be designed to help deaf customers interact. It will be an open layout for easy visual communication and have low-glare reflective surfaces. 

It will also have events geared to the deaf community, CNN reported.


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