Anna Gragert
November 05, 2015 2:22 pm

Ordering at a drive-thru may seem like an efficient task that makes your life easier, but how would this experience change if you were deaf? A woman named Rebecca King wanted to find out.

As the 28-year-old drove up to a Starbucks, she began to film what was happening. She pulls in front of the ordering monitor and a woman’s voice says, “Hi, welcome to Starbucks. What can I get started for you today?” In response, King remains silent and the woman repeats her greeting.

When Rebecca doesn’t respond the second time, the Starbucks employee appears on the monitor. Now that she can visually see King, the barista realizes that she’s communicating in sign language. Fortunately, the worker understands and is able to sign back. It turns out that this Starbucks staff member is 22-year-old Katie Wyble, who learned sign language in high school and wanted to do so ever since she saw a teacher sign in preschool.

This was actually the second sign language-related moment shared between the two women. King went to the drive-thru on Monday, but was encouraged to come back the next day and film this wonderful occurrence. She then posted the resulting video online and wrote, “Starbucks! This is what I’m talking about! Share it away! We can change the world!” Since then, it has received over 7 million views and a plethora of supportive comments.

Once Wyble heard this news, she was thrilled and explained on Facebook, “I think more people need to know about what we’re doing because it moves customer service to a whole new level. I hope it helps make more people aware of what they can to do serve others in their communities.”

While Starbucks has installed the two-way video feature at many of their drive-thrus, it’s not yet known exactly how many locations have this technology.

Other companies, such as Subway, have touch screen options. There’s also Culver’s, which became the first fast food company to use OrderAssist: a system that allows deaf costumers to easily order at a drive-thru.

“It is a big deal to [the] deaf community that Starbucks has one now,” King told Action News Jax. “We all want to have that at every drive thru in the world.”

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[Image via Facebook]

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