Deaf Woman Who Was Denied Service at Dunkin’ Donuts Shares Emotional Video on TikTok

shannon_heroux via TikTok

Many of us are sick and tired of this pandemic. It’s dragging on much longer than we originally expected, and even with vaccines, people are still getting sick. Face masks are still required in certain places, and not everyone is happy about having to wear one.

If you’re tired of wearing a face mask, stop for a minute and imagine what it must be like for the deaf community. Many people who are deaf rely on reading lips in order to understand what people around them are saying. A face mask makes it impossible to read someone’s lips.

In Los Angeles county, face masks are required at indoor locations. One Uber driver who lives in Los Angeles has had enough of being discriminated against during the pandemic due to the use of face masks.

In a viral TikTok video, Shannon Heroux called out Dunkin Donuts for refusing her service because she is deaf. In the video, Heroux is sitting in her car crying. She explained that she told the employee that she’s deaf and needs to read lips. When she asked the employee to lower her mask so she could read her lips, the employee went to get the manager. Heroux had no idea what either the employee or manager were saying, but she could tell that the manager seemed angry, and she was not able to place her order.

Heroux went on to explain that she thinks she was denied service because she speaks so well that the manager probably didn’t believe that she’s deaf.

@shannon_herouxI was refused service at a Dunkin Donuts because I’m deaf. I want to spread awareness on how this is not okay. Part one of the video. 💔♬ original sound – shannon_heroux

In a part 2 video, Heroux mentioned that she has been discriminated against for being deaf at far more places than just Dunkin. That’s just the latest addition to the list. She also called out Target and Costco as places where she has been discriminated against during the pandemic due to the use of face masks.

@shannon_herouxDiscrimination Part 2 💔 please watch Part 1 to get an understanding of what happened and help spread awareness for the deaf community. ##pandemic♬ original sound – shannon_heroux


In follow-up videos, Heroux explained that the manager later appologized to her, and she believed that his apology was sincere. She also explained that she met with the Dunkin Donuts franchise owner to brainstorm ways that the employees could properly communicate with deaf customers going forward. They came up with multiple ideas including wearing clear face masks, having a white board available for customers to write down their orders, and offering a laminated menu where customers could simply circle their order.

Have you ever thought about how difficult the pandemic and face masks in particular must be for the deaf community? Do you know anyone who has felt discriminated against during the pandemic because they are deaf?