ADAM:

Hi, I'm Adam, a Starbucks Deaf partner for the past 18 years. I work as a utility analyst, and I'm involved in the Deaf leadership group.

We are thrilled to announce Starbucks opening its first signing store in the United States. The location is in Washington DC on 6th and H Street near Gallaudet University.

The accessibility group, the Deaf Leadership Team, and allies have all come together, inspired by the opening of the very first signing store in Malaysia in 2016, and that was a model for this bustling hub that is Deaf-friendly. The store will create a distinctive retail experience for all customers while offering a unique store format that promotes accessibility and offers employment and career advancement opportunities for the Deaf community.

Howard A Rosenblum, the CEO of the National Association of the Deaf, said, "The Nationalist Association of the Deaf applauds Starbucks for opening a signing store that employs Deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Starbucks has taken an initiative 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."

AUDIO DESCRIPTION:

Text appears: 'Creating Opportunities with the Deaf Community'.

A young woman wearing a Starbucks black apron with an ASL translation signs.

SEVANA:

Hi, I'm Sevana. I’m a Deaf Starbucks partner, and I’ve worked here for 15 years. I'm a district manager in northern California.

Rossann Williams, Starbucks executive vice-president of US Retail, has said, "This is a historic moment in our ongoing journey as a company to connect with the Deaf community, hire and engage Deaf partners and continue to find ways to be more inclusive, accessible and welcoming to all of our stores. I look forward to welcoming the community to this store in October."

AUDIO DESCRIPTION:

Text appears: 'Designing the First US Signing Store'.

A young man in a black T-shirt signs.

KEVIN:

Hi. I'm Kevin. I am deaf and blind and used to be a Starbucks partner for nine years. Currently I’m a consultant on this project.

In 2016 in Malaysia, they opened the first signing store with nine Deaf partners. They acted as an inspiration and we want something here similar. We wanted to create a positive experience for Deaf customers as well, so a small group of partners went to Malaysia, both to celebrate their first-year anniversary in July 2017, but also to learn about what the store did, in hopes of incorporating those elements into our first signing store here in the United States.

Deaf Leadership Team as well as the Accessibility Office and the Access Alliance partner network all worked together to open the first store here in the United States. The store will have art and a mug designed by a Deaf artist.

Deaf Leadership has also given aprons to Deaf partners, and those aprons have hand shapes of 'Starbucks' spelled out. And for hearing partners proficient in sign language, they have an "I sign" pin. The store will incorporate aspects of Deaf space, including an open environment for communication and low-glare reflective surfaces. For customers who do not know sign language, the store will offer visual communication options for ordering and receiving beverages.

AUDIO DESCRIPTION:

Text appears: 'A Place for Community'. A young man in a black polo signs.

KYLE:

Hi, I'm Kyle. I work at Starbucks and have been here for the past year. Also a Deaf partner. I work as a financial analyst, and I'm very excited to be a part of this team planning for the opening of the signing store in DC.

In 1989, Senator Tom Harkin introduced a law called the Americans with Disabilities Act. Senator Harkin says, "Starbucks is to be commended for their affirmative approach to employing people with disabilities, in this case, persons who are Deaf. Customers will enjoy interacting with these partners and perhaps learn a few good signs with their coffee."

The store is located on 6th and H and is scheduled to open early October. To learn more, please visit news.starbucks.com

AUDIO DESCRIPTION:

Text appears: 'About Starbucks'. The same young man in the black polo continues signing.

KYLE:

Since 1971, Starbucks coffee company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks experience to life for every customer, through every cup.

To share the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at news.starbucks.com

AUDIO DESCRIPTION:

A hand spells out words in American Sign Language, 'coming soon'. The Starbucks logo appears with the word with the word 'Starbucks' in ASL fingerspelling.

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