Health & Wellness

Starbucks barista learns to sign to communicate with customer who is deaf

When Ibby Piracha walked into his favorite Starbucks last Friday, he had more than just his favorite blended beverage waiting for him.

The man who is deaf approached the counter to order, and his barista signed, "What do you want to drink?"

Why that surprised him: the barista learned to sign specifically so Piracha would get the "same experience as everyone else."

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Piracha posted a photo on Facebook from the Feb. 19 visit to the Virginia Starbucks, and it's since gone viral — garnering more than 13,000 shares and 3,600 likes. Captioning the photo, Piracha expressed his thanks, writing that he is "so blessed with her" for taking the time to learn a skill that would make his visits more enjoyable.

The barista used YouTube to learn American Sign Language, according to WJLA.

"I was just so moved that, oh my gosh, she actually wanted to learn sign," Piracha told WJLA using a video relay service interpreter. "She actually wanted to learn a different language...sign language is really a totally different language and it was something that she wanted to do because of me? Because I was a deaf customer? I was very, very impressed."

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He continued, "She became more motivated to learn sign because I was customer there and that has really, really touched me."

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