WASHINGTON (WHDH) - Starbucks is opening a branch in Washington, D.C. where every worker has to be proficient in American Sign Language.
The coffee house, set to open in October, will be close to Gallaudet University, the world’s only liberal arts institution of higher learning for the deaf.
Starbucks says at least 20 deaf and hard-of-hearing employees will be hired for the so-called “signing store” location. All workers who have hearing will be required to become fluent in ASL.
The company will have art by deaf and hearing-impaired artists and will hold events for the local deaf community.
The signing store will be the first of its kind in the United States, but Starbucks has worked with the deaf community in other markets.
A Malaysian store staffed by deaf baristas opened in 2016. It features wall art that has the word “Starbucks” spelled out in ASL.
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