Deaf woman says she was refused service at Dunkin’

By | September 22, 2021

A deaf woman from California says she was refused service at a local Dunkin’ after explaining she could not understand them.

Shannon Heroux was at the cash register of a Dunkin’ in Encino, California , when she asked the manager to either write down what they were saying or lower their mask so she could read their lips.

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“I couldn’t hear anything. I wear a cochlear implant, but I didn’t have it on at that time. I’ve never been refused service, and it hurts,” Shannon Heroux said in a now-viral TikTok video from Sept. 13.

“He didn’t believe me. You could see it in his body language,” Heroux said, referring to the manager. “I kept saying, ‘Write it down,’ once or twice, and then he just kept talking with his mask on. And then before I know it, I said, ‘Are you going to take my order?’ and he said no, or he shook his head no.”

“He refused to put the mask down,” she added. “We’re six feet apart, there’s a plexiglass to the side. I’m wearing my mask. Like, what more do you want from us? We struggle so much during this pandemic. Enough is enough.”

Heroux explained it has been challenging for her to communicate with people ever since mask mandates started.

“The whole time, from the moment we went to our first shopping experience with the mask mandated, I had to have my partner by my side,” she said, CBSLA reported .

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She says she is still processing the painful experience weeks later.

“I wanna know, like, what is this manager like to other people and why would he do that?” she said. “No deaf person deserves that, you know? It’s an invisible disability. We shouldn’t be judged like that, even if we speak or don’t speak. It doesn’t matter.”

Heroux is expected to meet with the owner of the Encino Dunkin’ on Sunday.

“We take matters like this very seriously,” a Dunkin’ spokesperson told Yahoo Life . “At Dunkin’, we are committed to creating a welcoming environment and treating every guest with dignity and respect. We have contacted the guest to apologize, and we are actively working with her to resolve the matter.”

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