This Starbucks Employee Went Above and Beyond for a Deaf Customer

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

A gesture of goodwill from a Starbucks barista in Virginia has been getting tons of love from the Facebook community.

The employee at a Leesberg location handed local resident Ibby Piracha, who is deaf, a note saying, "I've been learning [American Sign Language] just so you can have the same experience as everyone else." Piracha later shared a photo of the note to the social media site.

Read more: This Man Posed as Target Customer Service for 16 Hours to Send a Message to Homophobes

"She asked me, 'What you want [to] drink?' in ASL,'" wrote Piracha, who said he visits the location three times a week, in the post.

"I usually use my phone, and I'll text them what I want to order," Piracha told ABC through an interpreter. "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. ...  I even told the Starbucks manager, 'You know, I was very impressed by your employee.'"

The coffee chain may have reason to give that barista a raise. In October a deaf former barista who worked for the chain from 2007 to 2014 filed a lawsuit against the company for alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. According to the lawsuit, the employee said she had repeatedly asked for and been denied accommodations for her disability and was fired in retaliation for reporting the chain to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Feb. 22, 2016, 1:39 p.m. Eastern: This story has been updated.

Correction: Feb. 22, 2016
An earlier version of this story stated the former Starbucks barista who sued for alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act had worked for the company from 2007 to 2015. The lawsuit says she was fired in 2014. Additionally, an earlier version of this article used "she" pronouns to refer to Ibby Piracha. According to his Facebook profile, Piracha uses he/him pronouns.

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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