Starbucks has opened its first U.S. signing store in Washington, D.C. to serve deaf and hard of hearing customers at 6th & H Street near the Gallaudet University.
Starbucks announced in July that the store will be opened in October. The company had also announced that 20 to 25 people who are deaf or hard of hearing will be hired to work at the store.
The store has an open layout. Artwork and custom-made mug by a deaf artist
Marlee Matlin, who’s the only deaf actor to win an Academy Award, posted a video on Instagram while ordering a drink at the store on Tuesday. “The sign for the week is COFFEE,” she wrote.
A team of Deaf Starbucks partners and allies had taken the initiative of opening this unique store in D.C. Howard A. Rosenblum, the CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, had appreciated Starbucks for opening the store and providing employment to people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
“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 Rosenblum.
Starbucks executive vice president of U.S. Retail, Rossann Williams, had said that the opening of the store is a “historic moment” in their journey to connect with the deaf and hard of hearing community.
“This store is truly from partners, for partners, and we couldn’t have gotten here without the team of Deaf partners and allies from our Accessibility office and the Access Alliance partner network who came together to bring this vision to life,” said Williams.