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Starbucks is taking the world of accessibility to an entirely new level with the implementation of video windows that will allow deaf customers to communicate their orders via sign language. Thanks to the help of a little technology, hearing impaired customers are able to access the convenience of a drive-thru, further shattering accessibility barriers.

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This isn’t about promoting star bucks, in fact, if you check out the health section of our website, you will see why we think the food served at star bucks is probably not your best option if you are looking to optimize your health.

The news of Starbucks latest development, which is still being rolled out gradually, went viral when Rebecca King, a 28 year old deaf woman, captured an encounter at a Starbucks drive-thru in St. Augustine, Florida.

After no initial response to the typical “Hi, welcome to Starbucks” greeting, Starbucks barista Katie Wyble appeared on screen ready to communicate with the customers via sign language. Check it out:

According to First Coast News, Rebecca first encountered the new development the day prior to filming, and was excited to come back the very next day to document it and share it with the online world. The internet responded, as the original post on her Facebook page has amassed well over 4 million views since being posted.

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The city of St. Augustine, Florida is home to a relatively large deaf community since it has The Florida School For The Deaf & Blind within its city limits, making the development even more common sensical.

While Starbucks’s plans to roll out this new form of accessibility are still unknown to the public, you can only imagine that the continued virality of this video will further pressure them towards making it widespread as soon possible.

The topic of accessibility is a recurring theme here at Collective Evolution, as we all hope that each article we release helps bring us closer to a fully accessible world. In April of this year I put together an article centred around a video in which a community came together to give a deaf neighbour a world without barriers experience. And in August of 2014 I wrote about a Toronto restaurant, which I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing first hand, whose entire staff is hearing impaired.

Be sure to share this article with your social networks to put even more pressure on Starbucks and other major chains to implement accessible technology.


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