Starbucks set to launch first US sign-language store

By mcpherrin mcpherrin

US-based coffee company, Starbucks, is set to launch the United States’ first sign-language store, BBC News reports.

The new store will hire at least 20 staff who must be fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).

In conjunction with the company’s “commitment to inclusion, accessibility and diversity”, Starbucks has confirmed the store would also provide employment opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Starbucks intend to offer its customers different ways to communicate their orders in order to make the store as accessible as possible for its customers.

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"Starbucks has taken an innovative approach to incorporating deaf culture that will increase employment opportunities as well as accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing people," Howard A Rosenblum, the Chief Executive of the National Association for the Deaf in the US, told the Washington Post.

“There is still a long way to go, particularly in the UK where deaf British and Irish sign-language users are not afforded parity of access with hearing consumers across many sectors. We hope that other businesses look to Starbucks' example," The British Deaf Association commented.

Starbucks has already demonstrated a commitment to cater to sign-language users in other countries with sign-language branches currently in operation in Kuala Lumpar and Malaysia.

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