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American Sign Language

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Starbucks to open first U.S. store for the deaf community

Two years ago Starbucks opened its very first Signing Store — a location in Malaysia that was designed specifically to employ and make ordering coffering easier for people with hearing impairment. Starbucks recently announced plans to open its first U.S. Signing Store in Washington D.C. this October. An estimated 28 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, according to The National Center for Health Statistic. About 2 million of those people are classified as being deaf, meaning they can’t hear everyday sounds or words. It is thought that around 13 million people have some proficiency in sign language, but for people who rely on American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary means of communication, sometimes something as simple as ordering coffee can become a huge inconvenience. Starbucks plans to hire 20 to 25 employees, or ‘partners’ as they’re called within the company — all of which are required to…