Starbucks: new innovations for inclusion


Emma Austin, Editor-in-Chief

Starbucks’ long-held effort to create accessibility

On the Starbucks website, under the Newsroom tab, the team covers their commitment to access and disability inclusion:

“Creating a culture of belonging is a core value that makes Starbucks a unique place for our partners (employees) and customers around the globe.”

Employees are even trained to be mindful and helpful in situations with communication difficulties. This is especially important to creating a comfortable and integrated atmosphere for all customers.



After being founded in 1971, out of a small store in Seattle, Washington, Starbucks grew to accomplish many things—including partnering with other companies like Teavana and expanding their products, to working towards opening thousands of stores in cities with mass unemployment. Starbucks has another on-going mission to donate all leftovers to an organization called Feeding America that works to provide food to the hungry.

The company’s core values as found on google are:

  • “Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome”
  • “Acting with courage, challenging the status quo”
  • “Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect”


Starbucks headquarters in Seattle announces an all-signing store

In July, Starbucks announced the opening of a deaf friendly and all-signing store in Washington, D.C. This also goes without saying that all employees will be fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and have the important opportunity to connect with others who are deaf or hard of hearing, allowing for access to an inclusive job or place to study and meet with others.

Deaf partners at Starbucks are hopeful that this will help to create awareness, as-well-as bring hearing and hard of-hearing people together.


The public response

In October, @Starbucks on Instagram posted brand new information on the all-signing store and received plenty of feedback from the online community. Photos of the employees and store were attached.

Below are a couple responses on the post. The comments were over-flowing with impressed customers and happy thoughts. The Starbucks social media team answered almost all question asked of them.  They even have a “highlight” story on the official Instagram that teaches customers how to ask for specific items in ASL.