Some of you may of heard about the Starbucks barista who learned sign language so that he would be able to communicate with a regular customer who was Deaf. It is amazing what a simple gesture can do to not only create a connection with someone, but create a lifelong friendship!
I have been with Cardinal Hearing Centers for over 5 years, and my first experience with this moment happened while working with a Deaf patient at the Parma office. Presently, there is a large Deaf community in Parma, which had left the practice, due to communication issues. The audiologist at the time did not sign, and the community felt under represented. A patient came in reluctantly, due to some tubing issues, and she was in need of an emergency appointment. She came in, updated her paperwork, since it had been years since her last visit, and patiently waited to see me. The new patient registration sheet has a section about what language the patient speaks at home, and she had indicated ASL (American Sign Language). When I went out to get the patient to bring her back to my office, I signed my introduction, finger spelled my name, and welcomed her back to the practice. Her face lit up immediately, and that small gesture made her “reluctant need for an appointment” turn into an ” I am so glad I came in” moment.
Shortly after that visit, “word” got around that Cardinal had a “signing” Audiologist, and the Deaf community started to come back to have there devices serviced and repaired. I have since developed a good working relationship with many people of the Deaf community, even reaching out to them on Facebook for easy access to me, since most of my patients cannot communicate well over the phone.
If you have not seen the sweet note from the Starbuck’s barista, please follow the link here: Starbucks Barista