You might recall walking past the Starbucks outlet in Bangsar Village II only to find it closed for renovation. The store reopened a few weeks ago but it was only yesterday that it was officially launched as the first ever Starbucks Signing Store that hires deaf baristas. Yes, first ever globally.  

Working together with The Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID), the whole place has been developed to be a welcoming environment for Deaf and hearing customers alike. For starters, there is a Starbucks Card kiosk where you can check your card balance and rewards before making your order. If you don't know sign language, there are menu cards at the counter for you to write down your order before handing it to the barista at the register. You can then collect your drinks and food when your order number is displayed on the large screen above the pick-up counter. 

 

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The Starbucks Signing Store in Bangsar Village II currently has 10 deaf baristas and three hearing staff, and the number of employees is expected to increase as the initiative was created to help provide more 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," said Alvin YM Wong, Chairman of the Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID).

 

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