Malaysia has been chosen to open the world’s very first Starbucks outlet that hires deaf baristas, pioneering the initiative.
Starbucks told Mashable, that the outlet opened in Bangsar is specially designed to cater to the deaf and mute community. It currently has 10 deaf baristas and 3 hearing staffs on board, all trained and capable of conversing in sign language.
Looking very much to be a corporate social responsibility (CSR), the approach is a collaboration between Berjaya Starbucks Coffee Company Sdn. Bhd. and The Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID), aimed to train and hire deaf baristas.
“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,” said Sydney Quays, managing director of Starbucks Malaysia.
But even if you are not familiar with sign language, you’ll still be able to get your cuppa joe as your order will be written on a menu card. You will then be assigned a number, and once your number flashes on the screen you’re good to come collect your caffeinated beverage.
This unique refuge for the disabled is led by branch manager Evonne Lo and newly promoted shift manager, Mohammad Aizad Ariffin, who has a hearing disability.
Aizad has been an employee of the giant coffee franchise for three years now and aspires to the first deaf store manager in Starbucks Malaysia.
He tells the press:
“Since I joined Starbucks three years ago as a barista, my goal has been to become Starbucks Malaysia’s first Deaf store manager and after my recent promotion to shift manager, I’m well on way to achieving this dream.
“It’s an incredible feeling to share my journey and help develop other Deaf partners.”
Chairman of SID, Selangor, and Federal Territory, Alvin YM Wong commented that apart from it being a great career opportunity, this initiative has also empowered the deaf and mute community, giving them confidence.
“We are proud to be working with Starbucks to provide job opportunities for Deaf people.
“Through Starbucks, these Deaf partners are trained and empowered to move forward in their careers, which will give them a sense of pride and accomplishment in the long run,” he said.
The venture is undoubtedly a brilliant effort to bring awareness to the deaf and mute community — boasting that despite being different, one can still achieve as much in life.
Is you are ever around in the neighbourhood, you’re most welcome to stop by for a warm cup of coffee 🙂
And here’s a video from Starbucks Malaysia’s Facebook page to give you a glimpse of the store.
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