MARLIN, Texas (KWTX) -A Central Texas woman raising awareness and asking for better treatment for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community after an incident at an area McDonald’s.
Ashley Vallejo said she pulled up to the McDonald’s in Marlin where a sign is posted in the drive-thru asking customers with speech and hearing disabilities to pull up to the window.
She said that’s when things took a strange turn.
“I gave him a note and he rejected our drive-thru note and said we had to go all the way around,” Vallejo said.
“I looked at him and just tried to explain what was going on a few times and, again, he rejected service to us and told us that we had to keep going through, which wasn’t fair and wasn’t right.”
Vallejo said she deserves the same service as everyone else. She said a manager eventually got involved and she was able to place her order, but the order came out wrong.
“Then, they were mocking us for being deaf and making fun of us,” Vallejo said.
“I was trying to explain to them that I was deaf and we couldn’t hear, and then they were acting they couldn’t hear us and making gestures toward their ear back to us and mocking us in a way.”
It’s not the first time something like this has happened to her, and she says it happens all too often within the Deaf community. That is why she is pushing for change.
“My goal would be that we can provide deaf awareness and people can be more deaf-friendly and can improve having their knowledge of how to work with Deaf customers,” Vallejo said.
“I think better training being provided to the drive-thru and others in the customer service industry. That would be my goal.”
She hopes to open the door for awareness and have conversations about how to accommodate the Deaf community’s needs so everyone can receive equal treatment.
KWTX News 10 reached out to McDonald’s for comment and received a statement.
Bob Frazier, the owner and operator of the local McDonald’s said, “At my McDonald’s, we work hard to build an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome. We are looking into this incident to see if there are changes we can make to better serve our customers.”
Written by Katie Aupperle