Starbucks opens its first US sign language store in Washington, DC


While this Starbucks looks like every other outlet of the coffee chain, mermaid logo, mugs for sale, baristas in bright green aprons, there’s one thing that makes it very special. Every single employee here is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.