Starbucks recently launched a new outlet in Bangsar Village II. It looks pretty much like any other outlet in Malaysia from the outside, baristas are busy crafting drinks with the smell of coffee lingering in the air.
However, when you head to the counter to order a drink, you'd notice something different. Instead of calling out beverage orders, baristas use sign language.
In collaboration with The Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID), Starbucks Malaysia has opened a store dedicated to providing employment opportunities for deaf partners (employees). Located in the busy Bangsar Village II shopping mall, the store is the first-of-a-kind for Starbucks globally.
Founded in 1990, SID strives to enable the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community an opportunity for equal rights and access to information and communication.
Calling it the 'Signing Store', the outlet currently has 10 deaf baristas and three hearing staff
Mohammad Aizad Ariffin, who is deaf and has been working for three years with Starbucks, will serve as the store’s shift manager.
"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 my way to achieving this dream.
It’s an incredible feeling to share my journey and help develop other deaf partners,” Aizad said while also urging his deaf friends to come on board.
Aizad is working towards enrolling under the company's Coffee Master programme eventually — Starbucks' advanced coffee expert course.
Sydney Quays, managing director of Starbucks Malaysia said this outlet is an indication that the company is committed to provide support for people with disabilities
SID also provided Starbucks Malaysia with two sign language interpreters to translate during hiring, training and coaching for deaf employees. They will also teach sign language to hearing baristas at the store.
“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," said Alvin YM Wong, Chairman of the Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID), Selangor and Federal Territory.malaysiandigest.com
Well done, Starbucks Malaysia! Make sure you pay the store a visit!
The outlet is located at:
Lot No.2F-22 & K1,
2nd Floor, Bangsar Village II,
No. 2 Jalan Telawi Satu,
59100 Kuala Lumpur