After PSLs overwhelming basicness, Starbucks’ baristas’ inability to hear people’s names correctly is probably the biggest Starbucks trope out there. But this latest Starbucks headline isn’t written by The Onion, and the story behind it is far more heartwarming than humorous: This week, the global coffee giant announced it is opening a location in Kuala Lumpur primarily staffed by deaf baristas.
In collaboration with The Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID), Starbucks Malaysia will be launching the first-of-its-kind store in a busy shopping mall with an initial staff consisting of ten deaf employees and three hearing ones. According to the brand, SID was integral in getting things up and running, providing interpreters for hiring and training, as well as teaching sign language to the hearing team members.
“We are proud to support people with disabilities through fulfilling work to create a culture of empowerment and to bring new perspectives to the workplace, which ultimately makes us a better company,” Sydney Quays, managing director of Starbucks Malaysia, said in a news release. “We have a rich history of creating opportunities for underrepresented groups and our aim is to raise public awareness of the value people with disabilities bring to the workplace and to enrich the lives of many more Deaf partners.”