Starbucks is set to open a ‘signing store’ in Washington DC, whose staff will all be trained in american sign language (ASL).
The store will provide employment opportunities for deaf and people who are hard of hearing, as a part of the company’s ongoing commitment to inclusion, accessibility and diversity.
All signing store partners will be fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) to drive greater connection with the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Howard Rosenblum, chief executive of the National Association of the Deaf, said American Sign Language is one of the most-used languages in the country and is not limited to deaf people. He said the store is one way for businesses such as Starbucks to bring people together so they can learn how to communicate with one another, whether they are deaf or hearing.
“Starbucks’s first signing store can show other corporations that including deaf people is good for business and can increase its market share,” Rosenblum said. “Hiring deaf people or people with disability should not be viewed as a charity but as a way to improve a corporation’s reach across different segments of the market.”