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ASL Friendly Starbucks Opens In Washington, D.C.

Courtesy+of++Starbucks
Courtesy of  Starbucks

Courtesy of Starbucks

Courtesy of Starbucks

Jordynn Leigh, Staff Writer

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The first American Sign Language Starbucks opened up in Washington, DC, October 23rd.  This Starbucks may look like and sell the same stuff as a normal Starbucks, but it has one thing that makes it stand out. All the employees at this store are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).

This shop does have a few changes from the typical Starbucks to make it more signer friendly. Tables and chairs sit a little bit lower to aid in visibility. The lights are brighter than usual and instead of glossy tables and counter-tops, are all matte to help reduce glares.

Many great opportunities for people both involved and not involved in the deaf community come for this ASL store. It provides a few jobs for people that are hard of hearing or deaf as well as just welcoming them into a safe community. It will also encourage new people to want to become involved in the deaf community.

ABC News had an interview with the manager of the store regarding what benefits he thinks will result from having a signing Starbucks.

“As a deaf person, you can have a job and you can have money and you can have life skills. And you can engage with people in the signing and non-signing community,” Matthew Gilsbach said.

Katie Canteenwalla, one of our ASL teachers here at Winter Springs, is very excited about this store opening and the opportunities it will provide.

“I hope that it brings awareness so people know more about deafness,” Mrs. Canteenwalla said.

Overall the ASL and Deaf community is very excited about this signing store and the opportunities it may bring.

Winter Springs High School has a very active ASL class and community.  They will be putting on a performance on November 16 at 6:30 in the WSHS auditorium.  Tickets are $3 and can be purchased at the door.  Performances are open to all and will include information on deaf culture, comedic acts, singing, dancing and much more.

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ASL Friendly Starbucks Opens In Washington, D.C.