Barista wins praise for using sign language to communicate with deaf customer

PHOTO: Facebook video screengrabs

A video of a Starbucks barista using sign language to communicate with a deaf customer at a drive-thru in Florida, United States, has gone viral.

Shared by customer Rebecca King, the video shows Ms King at a drive-thru kiosk, but unable to respond to the barista.

After a few moments, the barista, who was identified as Ms Katie Wyble, appeared via a two-way video screen and quickly took Ms King's order in sign language.

Ms King posted the video on Facebook on Nov 3, with the message: "Share it away! We can change the world!".

As of Thursday (Nov 5), it has been viewed more than 5 million times, with about 140,000 shares.

In an interview with ActionNewsJax.com, Ms Wyble said she has had a "passion for sign language" since she first saw a teacher use it when she was in pre-school.

"I think more people need to know about what we're doing because it moves customer service to a whole new level," she said. "I hope it helps make more people aware of what they can do to serve others in their communities.

"So proud that my company can do this," she said, referring to the two-way video screen, a new system at the coffee chain which she dubbed "Starbucks FaceTime".


This article was first published on November 5, 2015.
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