Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Inclusion at Starbucks

Ibby Piracha frequents a Starbucks in Leesburg, VA several times a week. Because he is deaf and has limited ability to communicate verbally, Ibby texts his order for the barista to read. It's certainly different than the way other customers place their order. But it works. Ibby has accepted this as part of his routine, the way he manages his hearing disability in a hearing world.

One female barista didn't accept it. Krystal Payne wanted Ibby to have the same experience as other customers. She took it upon herself to watch YouTube videos and learn the basics of American Sign Language.

Next time Ibby came in to place his order, Krystal gave him this note. True to her word, she used ASL to ask what he wanted to drink. Ibby was touched by her effort to include him and others in the deaf community in this most basic of human experiences. He shared the photo and the story on his Facebook page, and the post was shared over 5800 times.

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