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Deaf Starbucks customer praises barista for learning ASL in viral post

By
Ben Hooper
A Starbucks worker in Leesburg, Va., handed this note to a deaf customer. Photo by Ibby Piracha/Facebook
A Starbucks worker in Leesburg, Va., handed this note to a deaf customer. Photo by Ibby Piracha/Facebook

LEESBURG, Va., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A Virginia Starbucks worker's note to a deaf customer is going viral after the man posted a picture on Facebook with an appreciative message.

Ibby Piracha, 23, said on Facebook the female barista at the Starbucks in Leesburg handed him a note Friday morning explaining he would be able to place his order in American Sign Language.

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"I've been learning ASL just so you can have the same experience as everyone else," the note read.

Piracha's post read:

"Oh, I gotta love this place. Starbucks woman cashier, she wrote it to me and she knew I am deaf. I am surprised she learning sign language because I attend to Starbucks 3 times in a week. She asked me 'what you want drink?' in sign language. I am so blessed with her. I think she realized Leesburg, VA have deaf people. Please share this post to everyone. I want hearing people would understand about hearing community supporting for the deaf community."

Piracha praised the barista in an interview with ABC News.

"I usually use my phone and I'll text them what I want to order," Piracha said. "She was saying she looked on YouTube because she had a lot of customers that came in using text. I was very surprised she was willing to learn [sign language] and it shows she respects deaf people ... she's an inspiration."

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A Starbucks spokeswoman also praised the employee's initiative.

"We are proud that our store partner [employee] is taking this initiative to learn American Sign Language to better assist and serve her customers," the spokeswoman said. "We always love to hear stories of meaningful connections between our partners and customers."

A Starbucks in St. Augustine, Fla., was praised in a viral post last November after video emerged of a barista using a video hook-up to take a deaf customer's order in ASL at the drive-through.

Oh, I gotta love this place. Starbucks woman cashier, she wrote it to me and she knew I am deaf. I am surprised she...

Posted by Ibby Piracha on Friday, February 19, 2016

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