Deaf man gets sweet note from Starbucks barista

Posted at 10:14 AM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 12:18:02-05

A Virginia man's Facebook post is creating some Internet buzz after he shared a note from a Starbucks employee who offered a kind gesture.

Ibby Piracha, who is deaf, told ABC News through an interpreter that he was surprised Friday morning to be greeted by the familiar barista with sign language.

"I usually use my phone and I'll text them what I want to order," Piracha of Leesburg, Virginia, 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."

Piracha, 23, said the female barista handed him a note that read, "I've been learning ASL just so you can have the same experience as everyone else."

Piracha posted a picture of the kind words to Facebook, where it received over 2,000 “shares.”

"I was very shocked to go in there one day and have her sign a little bit and I kind of smiled, thinking about it and I even told the Starbucks manager, 'You know, I was very impressed by your employee."

The manager at the Starbucks where Piracha received the note told ABC News that while he could not comment on this particular incident or name the employee, he confirmed Piracha's account.

“We are proud that our store partner [employee] is taking this initiative to learn American Sign Language to better assist and serve her customers,” a Starbucks spokeswoman told ABC News. “We always love to hear stories of meaningful connections between our partners and customers.”

Piracha said he hopes his Facebook post gets the message across that "the hearing world and the [deaf world] are trying to communicate."

"I definitely want people to understand that deaf customers can have a really great review," he added.