This Starbucks location is like any other location in every aspect, except that their employees all have one huge thing in common.
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a Starbucks is opening up with employees unlike no other Starbucks location. The difference between these employees and others is huge, but it’s not stopping these baristas from being awesome workers. To be more specific, these employees are all deaf.
That’s right. There will be 10 deaf employees and 3 hearing employees that make up the staff, and the process of ordering and picking up your drink will be a little different.
The reason Starbucks decided to open up a location with deaf employees is to open up more employment opportunities for the hearing-impaired. Starbucks’ Malaysian Managing Director, Sydney Quays, said this about their decision:
“We are proud to support people with disabilities through fulfilling work to create a culture of empowerment and to bring new perspectives to the workplace, which ultimately makes us a better company. We have a rich history of creating opportunities for underrepresented groups and our aim is to raise public awareness of the value people with disabilities bring to the workplace and to enrich the lives of many more Deaf partners.”
The franchise worked with The Society of Interpreters for the Deaf, who provides interpreters for encounters between deaf and non-deaf people in order to build the best work space for deaf people.
As of now, the everyday jobs that most people take for granted are nearly impossible for deaf people to be a part of, making it difficult for them to earn money and live on their own. Though deaf people can achieve anything, as long as they are passionate enough to fight for it like any person with disabilities, an employer’s willingness to hire a deaf person is what it comes down to.
The Chairman of the Society of Interpreters for the Deaf in Selangor and Federal Malaysian Territory, Alvin YM Wong, said,
“We are proud to be working with Starbucks to provide job opportunities for Deaf people. Through Starbucks, these Deaf partners are trained and empowered to move forward in their careers, which will give them a sense of pride and accomplishment in the long run.”
As for customers, the process at this Starbucks is a little different, but no more difficult than usual. Customers can write their food and drink orders on an order ticket provided and present it to the barista, who will then key it into the system. When their order is ready, the baristas will use sign language to communicate that it’s ready, rather than the usual way of calling it out. A screen with an order number will also be available for customers to reference in case they didn’t see theirs being announced.
It’s great to hear positive news for people with disabilities, and it’s just an added bonus that Starbucks chose to have special aprons made for the partners that have “Starbucks” written in sign language. Check out the image above!
What are your thoughts on this new initiative? Please share, like, and comment on this article!
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