Starbucks Commitment to Access and Disability Inclusion

Smiling bearded man in green apron signs with woman in black jacket in front of group of baristas, with sign on wall in background, "This store is dedicated to people united by sign language and Deaf culture."

Updated July 20, 2022

Creating a culture of belonging is not just a business imperative, it’s who we are. It’s at the heart of Our Mission and Values, and part of what makes Starbucks a warm and inclusive place for our partners and customers around the globe. A place where everyone belongs and is respected and valued – and an environment that is accessible for all. 

Creating Inclusive Spaces

We work to extend our commitment to disability inclusion and accessibility throughout the company, with the recognition that one in four Americans has a disability and all of us will, at some point in our lives, experience changes to our physical or mental health. 

Our partners make genuine connections with customers each day in thousands of Starbucks stores around the world. They are a hub of their neighborhoods, and we strive to create accessible environments in our stores by employing universal design principles and in our digital world through the Starbucks app and accessible websites.

We are continuing to design, test and scale more inclusive design standards and experiences across our store portfolio, starting in the U.S. and then expanding standards globally. Our goal is to ensure that physical and digital Starbucks environments will meet an elevated standard of accessibility by 2030.  

Current improvements and enhancements to accessibility include offering free Aira service, which provides visual interpreter service for customers who are blind and low-vision.

Also, large-print and Braille menus are available in all stores in the U.S. and Canada. Starbucks worked with the National Braille Press to create the new menus. 

We are dedicated to uniting people through sign language and Deaf culture with our portfolio of signing stores around the world. Our signing stores in China, Malaysia, Japan, UK and Washington, D.C. feature design elements that address major aspects of the Deaf experience and store partners who are proficient in sign language, whether they are hearing, hard of hearing or Deaf.

Partner Training & Support

Having a diverse and inclusive workforce reflects who we are as a company and our success in the future. Starbucks has a centralized retail accommodation budget and offers resources such as American Sign Language interpreting services for all of U.S. and Canada partners, and real- time captioning services.

We also offer on-the-job training programs for people with cognitive and physical disabilities through Starbucks Inclusion Academy. Our Starbucks roasting and distribution facilities in Carson Valley, Nev., and York, Penn., help participants gain skills and work experience in manufacturing and distribution. The Starbucks Retail Inclusion Academy in Maryland prepares people with disability for retail jobs with barista training at the Work Force Technology Center in Baltimore.

Mental health is a fundamental part of our humanity, and we are dedicated to supporting the mental health of our partners. We know 1 in 5 adults experiences some form of mental illness each year, touching our partners and customers in their personal lives, in their stores, and in the neighborhoods we serve. As part of our commitment we have reimagined our mental healthcare benefit in partnership with Lyra to connect more partners to quality care that meets their specific needs, created Starbucks Mental Health Fundamentals Training, and added a free subscription to Headspace to our suite of comprehensive benefits and resources to support our partners, as research shows many mental health-related benefits of meditation.

Disability Advocacy Partner Network

Partners with disabilities bring creativity and innovation to Starbucks. Since 2006, the Disability Advocacy Partner Network has helped foster a community of awareness, inclusion and accessibility for partners with apparent and non-apparent disabilities. The partner-led groups bring together people with shared identities and experiences, along with allies, to promote a culture of inclusion and contribute to the success of our partners and our business. They are thoughtful advocates and powerful voices to help promote change and understanding within the organization and beyond.

Disability Inclusion Assessment

We are proud to be recognized for our overall disability inclusion policies and practices. In 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2022 Starbucks achieved a score of 100 on the Disability Equality Index (DEI) and was recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion.” The DEI, a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities and Disability:IN, is a national benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective assessment of their overall disability inclusion policies and practices. We are a member Disability:IN’s Inclusion Works a national forum for peer institutions to share best and evolving practices on Access and Disability Inclusion, and have signed on to Disability:IN’s pledge, Are You In, committing to advance disability inclusion in the workplace.

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.


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