Some locals can now order for themselves, new braille menus at Starbucks

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — There are some things people can take for granted like ordering off a menu.

It’s not always easy and sometimes impossible for people who are blind or visually-impaired.

But Starbucks is changing that.

Daryl Darnell is a volunteer at PACE in Urbana.

It’s an organization that helps people with disabilities live more independent lives.

“I had retired so I decided, well, I’ve got to have something to do,” said Darnell. “I can’t just sit. That’s not going to work.”

Darnell is visually impaired and being independent isn’t always possible when ordering his coffee, but that’s not the case anymore at Starbucks.

“I’m very excited about this,” said Darnell.

Several Champaign Urbana locations now have braille and large-print menus.

“Someone will go through and ask me, what would you like?” said Darnell. “Well that’s my options coffee-wise. Now, I can go inside and look and say, I will have this or that. Oh it opens up possibilities for everybody.”

Sharon Petersson is the office manager at PACE. She says it’s important to provide these services.

“Be included so that you don’t have to have somebody sit there and read the menu to you,” said Petersson. “He can independently go up there and ask for that menu and read it by himself.”

She hopes that other businesses follow suit.

“I hope that other restaurants reach out to that population,’ said Petersson. “It would be very appreciated.”

Some Starbucks locations in Champaign Urbana we called have not received these menus. So if you need one, make sure to call ahead.

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