For many of us, a drive-thru is a mindless convenience we take for granted. For a deaf person, a drive-thru can be prohibitively difficult or even an impossibility. That’s why a recent video of a deaf woman using new technology to order a drink at Starbucks is going massively viral.
On Tuesday, 28-year-old Floridian Rebecca King shared a video of her most recent coffee run. In it, she drives up to the drive-thru and a barista asks for her order. Rather than answering, she signs “hello.” A few seconds later, the barista appears on a monitor and the two begin an exchange in sign language. King posted the video to her Facebook page with the caption, “Starbucks! This is what I’m talking about!” Since then, it’s been viewed over 7 million times.
Starbucks! This is what I’m talking about! ❤️Share it away! We can change the world! :)For Licensing/Usage Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Rebecca King on Tuesday, November 3, 2015
King told First Coast News she originally encountered the monitor the previous day, but was so excited about it that she had to return the next day to film it. “It is a big deal to [the] deaf community that Starbucks has one now,” she said. “We all want to have that at every drive-thru in the world.”
It’s not known how many Starbucks offer this amazing feature, but as the Huffington Post reports, they certainly aren’t the first. Culver’s — a midwestern burger chain — and Subway both use ordering systems that can aid deaf customers. The Starbucks shown in the video is located in St. Augustine, which is home to the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.
After seeing this in action, it’s hard to believe it’s not already in every drive-thru around the country. Katie Wyble, the barista from the video, says she hopes the video inspires others to adopt the technology, learn sign language, and that it “helps make more people aware of what they can to do serve others in their communities.”
According to Gallaudet University, approximately one million Americans over the age of five are functionally deaf, and many others have at least partial hearing loss. Technology like this two way video monitor could do a lot to simplify their lives and give them access to conveniences that millions of other Americans enjoy.
It’s about time for something like this to exist, and hopefully the attention this video is getting will help it catch on all over the country.