Piracha was shocked. He had no idea the barista he saw multiple times a week was learning sign language.
“I was like ‘wow.’ It brought a smile to my face,” Piracha said. “I was really surprised she had started signing. It wasn’t anything I had asked her to do. She had taken her own initiative and she had done it herself.”
Employees at the Starbucks on the 1000 block of Edwards Ferry Road NE said Monday that they could not speak to the media. A spokesperson from Starbucks’ corporate office said the company is proud the employee is “taking this initiative to learn American Sign Language.”
Piracha, who spends most of his time in Leesburg, said he has never before encountered a service employee who has communicated with him in sign language.
“I was glad to hear someone supporting the deaf community,” he said. “Sometimes we feel kind of pushed away, and I wish hearing people were a little more assertive to learn more about us and our community.”