Sign Language Stores: The Wave of the Future?

📷 Credit: Starbucks

📷 Credit: Starbucks

Starbucks opened a new signing store in Washington D.C. last Fall. The store is the first of its kind in the U.S. and is located near Gallaudet University, an institution for Deaf and hard of hearing students.

The store features a beautiful sign language mural that was created by a Deaf artist and adjunct professor of Gallaudet University. Deaf “partners” (employees) at the store wear aprons (pictured above) with the word “Starbucks” signed on them. All partners - even those who hear - are fluent in American Sign Language. The hearing partners wear traditional Starbucks aprons with an “I Sign” pin on them. The store features a “sign of the week” above the register to give hearing customers the opportunity to learn words in sign language. There are many more details incorporated into this well-thought-out space. Read more on the Starbucks website.

With 20% of the U.S. population (~48 million Americans) experiencing some form of hearing loss, we hope the Starbucks Signing Store inspires more brands to create similar experiences for this community.