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Sweet gesture

Starbucks barista learned sign language to help deaf customer order just like “everyone else”

By Colleen Curry on February 24, 2016

The sweetest thing at the Starbucks in Leesburg, Va., might not be a frappuccino or even a baked good, but the barista behind the counter who began to learn sign language to help a deaf customer order his morning joe. Ibby Piracha, a 23-year-old deaf man who stopped by his local Starbucks three times a week to get his morning coffee received a surprise one day from barista Krystal Piotrowski-Payne. She asked him his order in American Sign Language, and handed him, a note with his coffee.

“I’ve been learning ASL just so you can have the same experience as everyone else,” Piotrowski-Payne wrote.

Piracha posted a picture of the note to Facebook with his own note saying he is “so blessed” to have her in his local shop. The Facebook post began going viral over the weekend, and though Piotrowski-Payne declined interviews because she was “overwhelmed” with all of the attention, Starbucks said Tuesday in a statement to Women in the World that the company is “proud of her for taking this initiative to learn American Sign Language.” We’re proud of you too, Krystal!

Read the full story at WJLA.