Deaf Community Applauds Viral Starbucks Order

Rebecca King's video of sign language order goes viral
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2015 1:21 PM CST

A Florida Starbucks has made it easy for deaf customers to order at the drive-thru—and video of one deaf woman's experience has been viewed more than 6.5 million times since she posted it on Facebook Tuesday. "Starbucks! This is what I'm talking about!" wrote Rebecca King. The 28-year-old tells First Coast News she was surprised on Monday when she drove up to the St. Augustine Starbucks ordering window and a barista appeared on a two-way video screen to take her order via sign language. She went back the next day to record video of her doing the same thing. "It is a big deal to (the) deaf community that Starbucks has one now. Nowhere else has that!" says King. "We all want to have that at every drive-thru in the world."

The barista is 22-year-old Katie Wyble, who tells Action News Jax she's had a "passion for sign language since I first saw a teacher use it when I was in preschool"; she continued to study it in grade school, high school, and college. "I think more people need to know about what we’re doing because it moves customer service to a whole new level,” Wyble adds. “I hope it helps make more people aware of what they can to do serve others in their communities." St. Augustine has a large deaf community and the Starbucks in question is brand-new. It's not clear whether other Starbucks locations have the same capability, but the Huffington Post notes that at least two other chains, Culver's and Subway, have installed their own technology to help deaf customers order. (More deaf stories.)

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