What if you have to use sign language to buy coffee?

Malaysia
November 12, 2017 8:32pm CST
I was walking around one of the malls here on Saturday and thought I'd just grab a cup of hot chocolate from Starbucks before heading home. I had not been to this particular chain before, so I didn't expect anything to be different than the other Starbucks...until the time came to make my order. All of the employees here used sign language to communicate - I realized then that they were all deaf. Customer can write orders on a menu card and later would get an order number that would flash on a screen when their order is ready. Very interesting! I later found out that this was a collaboration between the management and The Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID), aiming at providing employment opportunities for the deaf. Turns out that it's also the first-of-a-kind Starbucks ‘Signing Store’, globally! Do you know sign language, or maybe have attempted using them? Would you be interested in learning?
21 people like this
23 responses
@LadyDuck (122597)
• Switzerland
13 Nov
Is there a specific reason why all the employees are deaf in that specific location? Is a social help for some specific categories of workers?
4 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
Like I mentioned in the discussion, it's a collaboration between the management and the local Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID) to provide employment opportunities for the deaf community.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (122597)
• Switzerland
13 Nov
@cahaya1983 This is a very good thing to do to help those who have physical problems.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
14 Nov
@LadyDuck It sure is. Plus they have a fortnightly sign language class open for the public to attend.
2 people like this
@bunnybon7 (33169)
• Holiday, Florida
13 Nov
i did try and learn a couple of times because my aunt teaches it. that is her career and it has done very well for her. she has traveled the world and made lots of money from interpreting
3 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
That's awesome! It does have advantages for sure. You're lucky to have someone you know that knows the language very well and can even teach it to you.
1 person likes this
@bunnybon7 (33169)
• Holiday, Florida
13 Nov
@cahaya1983 no she now lives thousands of miles away
2 people like this
• Malaysia
14 Nov
@bunnybon7 Oh okay, at least you had the experience. Definitely a great motivation to learn if we have family or friends who have mastered the sign language.
1 person likes this
@peachpurple (10755)
• Malaysia
13 Nov
oh yes, I want to experience that too
3 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
If you're around KL, go to Bangsar Village 2 some time. You'll get to experience that.
1 person likes this
@peachpurple (10755)
• Malaysia
14 Nov
@cahaya1983 which shopping mall? This?
HOME DIRECTORY DINING SERVICES ABOUT US CONTACT US
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
14 Nov
@peachpurple Bangsar Village 2, if you go to Bangsar Village just take the covered walkway to go the BV2.
@ilocosboy (33306)
• Philippines
13 Nov
Very interesting, its nice to know many establishments are doing this already. Even in my country there's a place who employ differently abled person only.
3 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
That's good to know. I think it's a great initiative to support employment opportunities for the differently abled who normally don't do such jobs.
@ilocosboy (33306)
• Philippines
13 Nov
This is a very laudable initiative
1 person likes this
@magallon (17369)
• Philippines
13 Nov
Communicating in sign language seems interesting. I like to learn it.
3 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
It is. I find the combination of finger movements and facial expressions to deliver a message very interesting.
1 person likes this
@magallon (17369)
• Philippines
14 Nov
@cahaya1983 I enjoy watching deaf people communicating with each other. They can get attention from others because of their hand gestures.
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (13698)
• Japan
13 Nov
Two thumbs up for Starbucks!
3 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
I'm considering converting into a Starbucks fan just because of this.
@shivamani10 (10819)
• Hyderabad, India
13 Nov
No. We do not have any. I do not know this language but have interest when I look at them.
3 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
I find it interesting too. I wouldn't mind learning it at all.
@Happy2BeMe (70110)
• Canada
13 Nov
I do not know it but jave always wished i knew it
3 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
Me too, I think it's definitely an advantage although we might not use it everyday.
1 person likes this
@Scrapper88 (1233)
• United States
13 Nov
I know a little sign language. I would like to learn more.
3 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
So far I've learned the alphabets and simple things like "Thank you". I'd like to learn more too.
@cttolledo (2348)
• Batangas, Philippines
14 Nov
Wow so nice of starbucks.. I hope all of their goals come true and givea deaf a chance to work. My late uncle was a deaf-mute , when he still alive, he stayed in our house for years. So I know how to do sign language. I just do not know now if I am still good at that because Its been a long time that I'm not able to use it.
2 people like this
• Malaysia
14 Nov
Good that you at least experienced communicating in sign language. Did you go to a class or learn from your late uncle? And I agree, it's a good community initiative, hopefully we'll see more big businesses doing the same thing.
1 person likes this
@cttolledo (2348)
• Batangas, Philippines
14 Nov
@cahaya1983 But you know what deaf-mute people are so amazing, they have a very strong senses. They can easily catch up and understand what you are trying to say, they're very good in lip reading. Yeah I support their goal because deaf-mute people is very close to my heart
1 person likes this
@cttolledo (2348)
• Batangas, Philippines
14 Nov
@cahaya1983 I just learnt it from my mom first, my mom is very good in sign language because of my uncle's condition, they're living in 1 house since they were kids. My uncle really loves to share a stories and we need to respond . So that's it ,we just noticed 1 day that we can do sign language already.
1 person likes this
@YrNemo (8765)
13 Nov
I would love to learn sign language, the more you learn, the better for sure.
2 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
I started learning the alphabets. Taking baby steps here.
1 person likes this
@YrNemo (8765)
13 Nov
@cahaya1983 Some little kids taught me a few weeks ago how to say 'the wind loves me', I forgot how it supposed to go now!
1 person likes this
@YrNemo (8765)
14 Nov
@cahaya1983 Guess they use the normal wave to say goodbye .
1 person likes this
@dgobucks226 (6879)
14 Nov
A very interesting post and good read! That's great that opportunities exist for the hearing impaired.
2 people like this
• Malaysia
14 Nov
Thank you! Glad you found it interesting. I hope the idea inspires other F&B businesses to do the same for the differently-abled community.
1 person likes this
14 Nov
@cahaya1983 Agree!
1 person likes this
@just4him (92532)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
13 Nov
I would love to learn sign language. I have tried to learn in the past. That's a great opportunity the store has provided for deaf people.
2 people like this
• Malaysia
14 Nov
That's nice to know. Did you learn it for any special reason or just for fun?
1 person likes this
@just4him (92532)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
14 Nov
@cahaya1983 Just for fun.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (47346)
• Manchester, England
13 Nov
Despite appreciating the obvious benefits of this, I do think it is rather impractical. Ignored language is not very well known by the general public, so the majority of customers would have serious problems trying to order. It also seems reasonable to assume that many of the staff would be able to lip read. The logical solution would be to have signs around explaining how to order each item via sign language. I would be quite prepared to read such signs and order accordingly, thus gradually learning. However, I would be inclined to go elsewhere rather than struggle every time.
2 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
Well they're deaf and mute but not visually impaired, so pointing at the item on the menu or writing a note to make additional requests is all a customer who doesn't know sign language would need to do to order. Based on my observation customers actually enjoyed the experience. It's a different experience, but not a difficult one. I wouldn't say it's a struggle at all, actually. I personally wouldn't hesitate going there again.
2 people like this
@Asylum (47346)
• Manchester, England
13 Nov
@cahaya1983 As long as options exist then it is a good idea.
1 person likes this
@shaggin (27092)
• United States
13 Nov
I used to want to learn sign language when I was young but I did not learn much. I think this is a wonderful idea to give these people a job they can do like this!
2 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
It's a wonderful initiative, no doubt. Especially because it's a job that isn't typically done by the differently abled. And they can do it well, too!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (101179)
• Bunbury, Australia
13 Nov
What a wonderful idea. I think that is marvellous and what a great opportunity for those people to at least get them started in the workforce.
2 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
It's really wonderful. I know other premises that have started to employ the mute and deaf, but working as baristas especially at a coffee store like Starbucks - that was a surprise to see.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (58029)
• Roseburg, Oregon
13 Nov
I used to know sign language. I have forgotten a lot of it.
2 people like this
• Malaysia
13 Nov
Oh really, did you learn it on your own?
@DianneN (59974)
• United States
14 Nov
That is awesome! I only know a little sign language which I used with my students and grandchildren before they could speak.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
14 Nov
That's nice too. I think learning it would be just as fun as learning a foreign language.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (59974)
• United States
14 Nov
@cahaya1983 It's difficult for me. I don't have an ear for foreign languages. Had some big laughs trying to figure out what my granddaughter was trying to tell us in sign language.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
14 Nov
@DianneN I guess I just have a deep interest in different cultures and the interest in learning a foreign language might have something to do with that.
@dpk262006 (54849)
• Delhi, India
14 Nov
It sounds very interesting that deaf people have been deployed at Starbucks. I would like to learn a sign language.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
14 Nov
Yes it is, I totally didn't expect that. I'm very sure there are YouTube lessons for those who really want to learn.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (54849)
• Delhi, India
14 Nov
@cahaya1983 I think starbucks has been doing a noble job.
1 person likes this
14 Nov
I think it would be easy for me.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
14 Nov
Then there's no excuse for you not to start learning!
1 person likes this
14 Nov
@cahaya1983 Oh yeah!
1 person likes this