COMMUNITY | Staff Reporter, China

Starbucks unveils first sign language store in China

The coffee chain also opened signing stores in Malaysia and Washington, D.C.

Starbucks has unveiled its first sign language store in Guangzhou, China.

The coffee chain’s signing store offers more employment opportunities for the deaf and hard of hearing community located near Guangdong Disabled Association and Guangdong Deaf People Association.

“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,” Starbucks China chief executive officer Belinda Wong said.

Starbucks currently employs over 100 partners with disabilities in China. The brand has partnered with the Guangdong Deaf People Association to offer professional skills training, including sign language courses and internship opportunities.

“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.” China’s Deaf People Association vice chairman and Guangdong Deaf People Association president Yitao Fan said.

In addition, Starbucks will have sign language symbols on its umbrellas, throughout the store, and on baristas aprons. Customers will be able to communicate using a notepad and two-way digital displays.

The store will also offer sign language lessons and coffee workshops in sign language to customers.

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