Deaf woman's drive thru encounter at Starbucks will restore your faith in humanity

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Starbucks' New Deaf-Friendly Technology


Imagine trying to express yourself in a world without sound. It may be hard to fathom, but for many deaf people, this is a reality.

Even the most mundane things in life -- like ordering from a drive thru window at a fast food restaurant -- becomes difficult.

But one restaurant is trying to change that. A deaf woman filmed her encounter at a Starbucks in St. Petersburg, FL and discovered that the coffee giant is working to make these experience more accessible to every consumer, thanks to modern technology.

According to The Huffington Post, Rebecca King posted the video of her Starbucks encounter on her Facebook page on Tuesday, with the caption reading, "Starbucks! This is what I'm talking about! Share it away! We can change the world!"

The footage shows the 28-year-old woman driving up to the intercom, which says to her, "Hi, welcome to Starbucks. What can we get started for you today?"

When King does not respond, a barista appears on a screen and the two begin communicating via sign language.


Starbucks! This is what I'm talking about! ❤️Share it away! We can change the world! :)

Posted by Rebecca King on Tuesday, November 3, 2015



Katie Wyble is the Starbucks barista who came to the rescue of King. According to Action News Jax, Wyble has been practicing ASL since high school but told the news station, she has had a "passion for sign language since I first saw a teacher use it when I was in preschool."

King said she discovered the two-way communication earlier when Wyble popped up on the monitor during a previous visit. The St. Petersburg woman told First Coast News that she was so thrilled by the experience that she came back the next day to film it.

With The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind located in the city, the installation of the system is perfectly fitting.

It is unclear how many Starbucks locations have the communication system in place, but the coffee giant is not the first restaurant to try to make ordering food more accessible to those with disabilities.

The Huffington Post reports that midwest chain Culver's made headlines when it installed an accessibility technology system for deaf people, called OrderAssist, at some of its drive thrus in 2010. Sandwich chain Subway has also introduced a touchscreen order system in a handful of its locations as well.

Watch this 17-year-old deaf dog rock out at a concert:
17-Year-Old Deaf Dog Rocks Out at Concert


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