Lianne Herbert: Ordering at the drive through isn’t easy when you’re deaf

Posted on February 23, 2017



A Pizza Hut!

A Pizza Hut!

Kentucky Fried Chicken,

A Pizza Hut!

McDonalds!

McDonalds!

Kentucky Fried Chicken,

A Pizza Hut!

If you did the actions then you had an awesome childhood! If you didn’t well, it might have been mainly a hearing thing children did when I was growing up… I’ve always been in mainstream schools. Never a deaf one or one with a deaf unit.

Anyway, why did I start with this particular fast food song? It’s because I went to a drive-thru at KFC the other night. It was cold and I didn’t fancy parking my car, getting out and queuing, ordering the food, waiting and then collecting the food. Then finally going back out into the cold and getting back into my car. Sounds like a long process doesn’t it!

With the drive-thru it was my first time ordering by myself. I parked the car near the speaker. A voice cut across the cold air ‘May I take your order please?’ ‘Hi, can I have…’ It seemed simple at first but when it came to the options of what sides or drinks I wanted that’s when I realised ‘maybe I should have gone inside after all.’

I couldn’t understand what the voice was always saying as a) I couldn’t lip read the speaker and b) I wasn’t prepared for what questions they may ask or say to complete the order. I didn’t realise I could have two sides with the family bucket so at first I was confused!

This then made me realise how much I take my hearing aids for granted. Or performing a scenario in my head as to how this occasion would map out. Things rarely go to script when deaf. Fact of life when conversing with hearing people or man made hearing inventions.

These companies could make ordering food easier with, perhaps, a monitor that is touch screen. However, those with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) probably can see how filthy the screen could become before they used it themselves. Not everyone has the same levels for hygiene as you…

It’s just amazing that with all this technology a lot of things are still in the dark ages when it comes to access for D/deaf people. I thought things would have been more advanced by now.

Lianne Herbert is a deaf professional writer. Lianne is also on a Copywriting course to enhance her freelance prospects. She is currently involved with the West Yorkshire Playhouse on a Playwright course.

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Posted in: lianne herbert