Friday, October 26, 2018

ASL, and a little business called Starbucks

Hey Tek Ninjas! Happy Friday.

I wanted to tell you about something I heard on the news today which made me happy. Let me preference this by saying I’m no expert on coffee. I know what I like. And, I am even less educated about the lives of hearing impaired individuals, but this story caught my attention, and it made me think.

 So, to begin, let me say that I love coffee. I’m a big fan of Starbucks. I’ve been drinking Starbucks ever since I lived in Seattle in the late 80s. Just so you know, my preferred drink is a dark roast with a shot of espresso and a splash of heavy cream.

Today I learned that Starbucks has opened a new store in Washington DC that is very unique, because of it's employees. The store is staffed by employees who are mostly deaf or hard of hearing, AND who are proficient in American sign language. According to the National Deaf Center, 47% of deaf individuals are not in the labor force. This is a staggeringly low number.

Starbucks's endeavor may seem small in the scheme of things but it is a wonderful model for the rest of us. So, if you want to order a drink there, you can write it down on a note pad (a little dorky IMO), or you can get hip to some sign language.

Please be advised, I am very far from an ASL communicator. And, if there are ASL communicators who see this, and would be kind enough to help me communicate my preferred beverage noted above, I'd be delighted to receive a video tutorial!

Next time you are in Washington DC, go visit the new store, located at 625 H St., NE. If you want to learn a little more click here.

Happy coffee!

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