Just Another Starbucks

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BRUNSWICK, OH- In Washington DC there is a new Starbucks that has recently opened. You can order anything that you want from this Starbucks like any other one in the country. There are however a few differences. The first being that there is no ambient music playing, it is silent. It also may be brighter than normal and lastly, and most importantly, all the employees here are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). Why is is this? There is a college in Washington DC called Gallaudet University and this college is specifically for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

This all seems to be a part of a trend that has ASL and Deaf culture becoming more accepted and known as a part of a broader more diverse American culture. A new store opening with a staff completely fluent in ASL is the perfect example of this.

“When something like this becomes mainstream, it allows people without much access or knowledge of the community to become more accepting. Having the store so close to Gallaudet also allows for an accessible coffee option for the Deaf university students!” said Junior Angela Demchuk.

Demchuk is enthusiastic about the new store and with the fact that ASL and Deaf culture is becoming fare more accessible to a large portion of people. It also directly affects the Deaf community in the area and in a positive way. They now have a place where they can use ASL and not have to worry about if the person they are signing to knows ASL or not. In an interview done by USA Today, Marthalee Galeota, who is the senior manager for accessibility at Starbucks said,

“All the barriers are gone from being able to communicate, or from people being able to demonstrate their skills and show off the talent they have,”

ASL users do not have to worry about if what they want to communicate will be understood by those around them and they also raise awareness on the deaf community. This store opening can be seen as a major positive for everyone involved.

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