In an effort to be more inclusive, Starbucks opened its third sign language store – also the first one in China to cater to the disabled community.
The first sign language Starbucks store in China recently opened in Guangzhou. The coffee shop aims to give more employment opportunities to the hard of hearing and deaf community of the area.
The company employs more than 100 individuals with disabilities in the country. All its baristas have hearing issues and can communicate effectively through sign language.
According to the world-famous coffee chain, the store will be a welcoming hub for caffeine lovers to get their morning coffee. It is located in the Oriental Wende Plaza in the Yuexiu district.
“Starbucks is committed to creating equal opportunities for everyone, as well as a unique third place experience that addresses a wide range of community needs. The new signing store is an example of how we are building inclusive environments and careers for our partners,” said Belinda Wong, the Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks China.
Its opening coincides with the 29th National Day for Helping the Disabled. Aside from being a paradise for coffee fiends, the establishment also aims to raise awareness for the hard of hearing and deaf community.
Additionally, the store also offers an easy ordering system which makes use of pads and double-sided display screens. All its drinks and food are marked with a specific number so its customers can order easily without saying a single word.
Furthermore, Starbucks also forged a partnership with the Guangdong Deaf People Association to give professional skills training in sign language. The giant company even offers internships.
“Thanks to Starbucks, deaf partners are empowered to develop their careers in a vibrant and supportive environment, while the store provides a strong platform to drive societal awareness around deaf culture and the needs of the community,’ stated Yitao Fan, President of Guangdong Deaf People Association and Vice Chairman of China’s Deaf People Association.