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Starbucks Opening Café Staffed By Deaf Baristas

WATCH [CC] - A Starbucks store in Malaysia has become the first in the world coffee chain to focus on providing employment opportunities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing customers.

KUALA LUMPUR -- Seattle Times: A Starbucks store in Malaysia has become the first in the global coffee chain to focus on providing employment opportunities for those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing customers.

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The store in Kuala Lumpur, which opened Wednesday, results from a partnership between Starbucks Malaysia and The Society of Interpreters for the Deaf, the company said.

The society provided Starbucks with two sign-language interpreters during hiring, training and coaching for Deaf employees, and to teach sign language to hearing employees, according to a Starbucks news release.

The store employs 10 Deaf employees and three hearing ones, including the store manager.

“This is an underrepresented community in Malaysia,” a Starbucks spokeswoman said. “Over the years, the team has worked with local organizations to hire Deaf partners [employees] and we wanted to celebrate and recognize the contributions of Deaf workers and people of all disabilities.”

Customers place their orders by filling out a menu ticket that they hand to the baristas. The baristas then key in the orders on a dual-screen system where customers can see if their order is correct. The order number is displayed on a large screen above the pickup counter when it’s ready.

The store also has a Starbucks Card kiosk where customers can check their card balances and reward-program points.

Starbucks currently has no plans to replicate this model beyond the Malaysia store, the spokeswoman said.

SOURCE - SeattleTimes

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