A Starbucks barista gave a note to a deaf man and became a shining example of service.

Can you imagine if you had no choice but to speak another language unknown to most people?

A man goes in for a coffee and comes out with a double shot of human compassion.

When Ibby Piracha, a deaf man from Leesburg, Virginia, headed into his regular Starbucks location last week, he wasn't expecting a random act of empathy.

But then the barista pulled a surprise move. She handed him a note and then asked him in sign language what he wanted to drink.


Piracha told the local ABC news affiliate he was moved that she was motivated to dedicate herself to learning American Sign Language (ASL).

"She actually wanted to learn a different language. ... Sign language is really a totally different language and it was something that she wanted to do because of me? Because I was a deaf customer? I was very, very impressed."

Just how many people are missing out on easy transactions because of a hearing impairment?

According to the Gallaudet Research Institute's calculations from 2005, "anywhere from 9 to 22 out of every 1,000 people have a severe hearing impairment or are deaf."

And HearingLoss.org reports that "hearing loss is a major public health issue that is the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease."

It's a whole other language, but it's not too hard to learn! Image by Australian Department of Foreign Affairs/Flickr.

What would happen if more agencies, businesses, and online media outlets provided services for those who speak ASL, or provided transcripts for the deaf and hard of hearing?

The world might just be a little more inclusive, making Ibby Piracha and other deaf citizens like him feel just a little bit more at home.

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