Starbucks To Open First U.S. Signing Store In Washington, D.C. In October

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) said it will open its first Signing Store in the U.S. in Washington, D.C. in early October, building upon its ongoing efforts to connect with the diverse communities it serves.

The store will provide employment opportunities for Deaf and hard of hearing people as a part of the company’s ongoing commitment to inclusion, accessibility and diversity.

Starbucks said it will hire 20 to 25 Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing partners from across the country to work at the Signing Store with a requirement that all be proficient in American Sign Language or ASL to drive greater connection with the Deaf and hard of hearing community.

According to Starbucks, it drew inspiration from its first-ever Signing Store which opened in Malaysia in 2016, with nine Deaf partners.

The first U.S. Signing Store will be located at 6th & H Street near Gallaudet University, a bustling hub that is Deaf-friendly.

The store will feature exclusive artwork and a custom mug designed by a Deaf artist, and a variety of enhancements to support the Deaf and hard of hearing partner and customer experience.

Deaf baristas will have ASL aprons embroidered by a Deaf supplier, and hearing partners who sign will have an “I Sign” pin.

“The National Association of the Deaf applauds Starbucks for opening a Signing Store that employs Deaf and hard of hearing people. 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, while at the same time educating and enlightening society,” said Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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