Starbucks announced Thursday that it will be held this fall in Washington D.C. will open its first American Signing Store, designed with the Deaf in mind. The cafe plans to hire 20-25 employees across the United States who will speak American Sign Language (ASL), which means that deaf people will be able to come to the counter and know that they are light and communicate effectively  The concept was developed in collaboration with the ASL Deaf Studies Department at Gallaudet University, the world's only liberal art school for the deaf. The existing Starbucks near the school is the future location for the historic cafe.
US Retail's Senior Vice President Starbucks Rossann Williams said in an online statement, "This is a historic moment in Starbuck's ongoing journey to connect with deaf and hard-of-hearing people, recruiting deaf and hard-of-hearing partners, and continuing to move forward to be more inclusive, accessible and accessible to all. "
The Starbucks store was owned by a group of Tauber employees. cited allies modeling the cafe from the company's first signing store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which opened in 2016. The team of employees visited the Malaysian Starbucks in 2017 and came back with ideas to create the most accessible cafe
The shop is Baristas will have ASL aprons embroidered by a deaf supplier and listening employees will receive an "I Sign Wear "pin to indicate their fluency in ASL. The café will feature exclusive artwork and a mug designed by a deaf artist.
The Starbucks will also incorporate the concept of Deaf Space into their design, which is the idea of designing spaces that are tailored to the interaction of a deaf person with the world world, according to the Gallaudet University website.
Some of the notable features of the Starbucks Deaf Space concept include an open environment to facilitate visual communication and low-glare reflective surfaces.
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