Starbucks Commitment to Access and Disability Inclusion

Creating a culture of belonging is a core value that makes Starbucks a unique place for our partners (employees) and customers around the globe. It is not only a business imperative, but it is our global social responsibility to create a coffeehouse experience of warmth and inclusion – where everyone is welcome, respected and valued – and an environment that is accessible for all. 

Partner Training and Understanding

In our journey to create the very best Starbucks Experience, we provide all our new partners with inclusion and customer service training, including refresher courses for our longer-term partners.  We also offer access to support such as sign language interpreting services, break room signage reminding our partners of our welcoming service animal policy, and options for print and digital materials to be shared in in Braille and large font and software designed to enhance computing for our partners with disabilities. 

Customer Accessibility and Resources

Among other things, we offer customers products and resources designed to be usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone. That includes lower counter accessibility, a key component of our store experience.  We proudly welcome service animals into our stores and communicate this through signage on the front door of every U.S. store.  We have developed tools to elevate and enhance service to deaf customers and remain committed to fostering effective partnerships with the many landlords with whom we work across the country to ensure adherence to guidelines from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Disability Community Engagement and Recognition

In July 2015, we celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the civil rights law prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, public services, public accommodations and telecommunications. Starbucks has been commemorating the 25th anniversary of the ADA this month with a series of educational events.  One highlight has been the Access Expo which featured representatives from the company – along with community and national organizations, including the Starbucks Access Alliance, Summit Assistance Dogs, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Additionally, Starbucks is represented on the Northwest ADA Advisory Board, as well as the U.S. Business Leadership Network Corporate Advisory Board. Starbucks previously served 8 years on the board of directors.

We are proud to be recognized for our overall disability inclusion policies and practices.  Starbucks received the 2014 Employer of the Year award from the U.S. Business Leadership Network for disability employment inclusion practices such as: the centralized retail accommodation process; ASL interpreting; captioning; accessible store design features; accessibility in social media and the web; launch of the Braille gift card and large print menus; and visible executive support.

We also recently scored 100 out of 100 on a new Disability Equality Index (DEI) survey – a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities and the U.S. Business Leadership Network. The DEI is a national, transparent benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective assessment of their overall disability inclusion policies and practices. It is an aspirational, educational, recognition tool that goes far beyond legal compliance. It helps companies identify opportunities for continued improvement, while building their reputations as organizations that value diversity and inclusion. 

We recognize that our partners are the key to our success and we know we can do more. Having a diverse and inclusive workforce reflects who we are as a company and our success in the future.  We will continue these efforts around access and disability inclusion, and remain committed to doing more to ensure all of our customers and partners feel welcome and comfortable in our stores.

Additional News, Information and Stories about Starbucks Commitment to Access and Disability Inclusion: 

Starbucks is Recognized as a "Best Place to Work"

A Letter from Lucy Helm: Starbucks Commitment to Inclusion

Starbucks York Roasting and Distribution Facility Honored for Diversity and Inclusion

A Partner with Down Syndrome Finds an Inclusive Workplace at Starbucks

Partners with Disabilities find a Welcoming Community at Starbucks

25th Anniversary of the ADA Calls Attention to Gains Made and Goals Ahead

Starbucks is Recognized as Top Employer for Disability Hiring and Inclusion

Partners with Disabilities Bring Creativity and Innovation to Starbucks

Global Accessibility Awareness Day: Starbucks Supports Digital Inclusion

Hiring Workers with Disabilities at Starbucks Largest Distribution Plant

Starbucks Barista Deals with Deafness with a Winning Smile

Discovering Strengths and Embracing Abilities - My Peaberry Story

Video: Finding Understanding

Video: A Look at What Diversity Means at Starbucks