Starbucks opens first U.S. ‘signing store’ designed with deaf patrons in mind

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 has opened in  Washington, D.C.

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

The store is located at 6th and H Street NE, near Gallaudet University, a university for the deaf and hard of hearing, WRC reported.

Customers can either use ASL or write orders on a pad and there are screens that announce when orders are ready, instead of waiting to hear their names called, The Washington Post reported.

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 wear aprons embroidered with ASL signs, CBS News reported. The employees will also wear a pin that says "I Sign."

The cafe features artwork and a mug designed by a deaf artist.

The the store was designed to help deaf customers interact. It has an open layout for easy visual communication and has low-glare reflective surfaces.

It will also have events geared to the deaf community, CNN reported when the location was announced.


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