One of the largest minority groups in America are people with disabilities. People with disabilities are defined by their physical or mental conditions that limits their movements, sense, and activities. Typically, people tend to stigmatize disabled people by creating derogatory stereotypes about their capabilities resulting in exclusion from participating in jobs and other roles in society. However, Starbucks uses their company in favor to create awareness about disabilities and to ensure that those with disabilities have equal opportunities such as social interactions and employment. In this essay, I will use critical theory and invitational rhetoric to analyze the circumstances of the disabled culture and how society is rhetorically rewriting the history, the present and the future of “disability’s place in rhetorical history.” (pg. 253) I will study Starbucks as my prime artifact and use examples of their positive contributions to the disabled, concentrating on the deaf culture and their particular community.
First, I will explain society’s stigma on disabilities and their use of rhetoric. Then I analyze Starbucks notable efforts, like their own “curb-cut” and eliminating restrictions in their stores world-wide for the disabled as well as bring awareness overall. In a result, Starbucks builds intersectionality with a diverse and accepting community to all. Throughout, I will use examples that argue Brueggemann and Fredal’s claim of “no peace or productivity in the disability community.”
Throughout history, people with disabilities have consistently been stigmatized. In many cultures, disability has been associated with cripple, disease, dependence, and helplessness. This led to assumptions that all disabled were not qualified or able to perform rhetoric critically and effectively based on their restrictions rather intelligence. Although disabilities may entail limitations, we can still acknowledge their ability to communicate and persuade using the skills and intellect they do have.
The first definition for rhetoric dates back to 467 BCE by Corax and Tisias as “the artificer of persuasion” (pg. 254) is as straightforward as whatever it takes to be moved, influenced or convinced regardless of skill or performance. For a long time, rhetorical orators like Cicero “orator perfectus” believed rhetoric was based on delivery through pronunciation, speech and performance; while persuasion has always remained an essential piece. Besides having the ability to verbally speak, delivery could also be characterized through nonverbal cues such as gestures, facial expressions and a person’s body language.
Demosthenes also believed in delivery as a key element in rhetoric. However, as an orator himself, he battled speech infirmity that he was born with naturally causing him to stutter. This was crucial to this time period because it challenged stereotypes connected with disability. Demosthenes did not r...