Navigating the modern world is complicated, and doubly so for the deaf. Rebecca King can testify to it, but one day it got a little better.
King discovered while going through the usually problematic process of trying to order drive-thru that someone cared about her day. When she could not answer the question coming from the intercom, the friendly face of Katie Wyble popped up on screen, and she used sign language.
King was so stunned that the extra barrier she typically faced in day-to-day life was just wiped away, she had to came back the Starbucks the next day. This time she could not resist videoing her ordering food in a drive-thru to share with friends.
King lives in St. Augustine, Fla., home to the biggest deaf community in the U.S. but this was the first time she had seen anything like this. She captions the video “Starbucks! This is what I’m talking about!” adding, “Share it away! We can change the world!”
Apparently she was not alone in thinking this is an exciting use of technology. Within three days of uploading, the video was shared more than 115,000 times and piled up nearly 4 million views, local news reported.
One of the people to share it was the friendly barista. Wyble explains how much she loves using sign language, adding, “today (not for the first time) I got to use it with a Deaf customer and they were thrilled!”
Wyble told local news, “I’m glad that there’s more awareness for deaf culture and the deaf community. To see this come to light and actually be a part of it, I feel so blessed.”
King could not believe how much of a response her video prompted, but pointed out that making these kind of things more accessible to the deaf is significant.
“It is a big deal to (the) deaf community that Starbucks has one now. Nowhere else has that!” said King. “We all want to have that at every drive thru in the world.”